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By USCRI April 26, 2021

Arriving Unaccompanied Children, April 2021 Who are Unaccompanied Children? Unaccompanied children (UCs) are minors who arrive in the United States without a parent or legal guardian and who do not hold legal immigration status. Typically, arriving UCs are placed into a network of shelters that are run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Shelter care providers offer temporary homes and services, including educational, medical, and mental health services and case management to reunite children with their families. In times of system stress, ORR may operate other facilities, including influx facilities and, more recently, emergency intake sites. The care and legal custody for UCs is governed by the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2008, the Homeland Security Act of 2002, and the Flores Settlement Agreement. Arrivals of Unaccompanied Children Since the federal fiscal year (FY21) began in October 2020, approximately 37,000 UCs have arrived in the United States for processing. FY21 arrivals-to-date have exceeded all years since 2017.1 Most observers expect that FY21 will approximate or exceed other recent years of high arrivals: 2014, 2016, and 2019. Many UCs entering the United States were expelled under the prior Administration’s use of Title 42 to deny access to protection, in place from March to November 2020. Many other UCs would have come in FY20 but delayed their journeys because of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Because of these two factors, experts are uncertain whether 2021 arrivals represent a true “surge” year, or whether 2021 arrivals are in line with recent averages, best approximated by averaging FY20 and FY21 arrivals.

Read the full report USCRI – UC Factsheet – Apr 21


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