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KOLD INVESTIGATES: Approximately 2,000 unaccompanied children processed at Tucson’s new CBP facility

Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 4:38 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A spokesman with the U.S. Border Patrol Tucson Sector said it has processed approximately 2,000 children at its new soft-sided facility since it opened on April 30, 2021.

The 80,000 square foot facility is located near the Tucson airport at 4550 East Los Reales Road.

According to CBP, the facility is weatherproof, climate-controlled, and provides space for eating, sleeping, and personal hygiene.

The KOLD Investigative Team asked the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol for the exact number of people processed at the Tucson facility since it opened on April 30, 2021. We also requested their ages and how long they stayed at the facility before being transferred to the custody of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A CBP spokesman said they don’t report apprehensions, encounters, and detentions by station or individual facility.

The spokesman said while the Tucson facility is used primarily for unaccompanied children who are waiting for placement, any detainee can use the facility.

We contacted Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector to see if they could give us the numbers.

Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector could not give us exact numbers but said it had processed roughly 2,000 unaccompanied minors since opening on April 30, 2021.

That breaks down to about 35 children a day for 57 days.

A spokesman for the Tucson Sector said so far, the facility has only been used to process non-citizen unaccompanied children. He said the children are transferred to the custody of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services within 72 hours.

Since the beginning of the Fiscal Year 2021 (which starts October, 1, 2020) the Tucson Sector reported its agents encountered 10,822 unaccompanied children, which is up 157.7% from the year before.

According to CBP’s records, most children are coming from Guatemala.

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