Richard Hudson, acting chief of Law Enforcement Operations Directorate with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), said at a hearing on Thursday that, in recent months, agents have apprehended 41,000 children without parents or guardians and encountered as many as a quarter of a million since 2014 at the U.S. border with Mexico.
“Between Oct. 1, 2017, and July 31, 2018, more than 41,000 UACs have been apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol,” Hudson said, noting that 7,000 of those were deemed inadmissible at ports of entry.
“Since 2014, when we saw the first surge of UACs, CBP has encountered nearly 250,000 UAC’s along the southwest border,” Hudson said.
“These children arrive at our border after a difficult and dangerous journey, and many have been subjected to abuse at the hands of human traffickers, criminals, and opportunists,” Hudson said.
“The men and women of CBP treat each of these children with the utmost professionalism and compassion,” Hudson said. “…and work to ensure their welfare while they are in our custody.”