There were 5,767 children in Customs and Border Protection custody on Sunday, up from 5,495 children on Thursday. The numbers have gone up each day the data has been released, and Sunday marks the most recent data available.
The latest custody data illustrates how the Biden administration continues to struggle with large numbers of unaccompanied children in its care, particularly in its inability to move kids out of border facilities and into more appropriate Health and Human Services custody.
The internal estimates take into account current trends as well as previous influxes of migrant children, and show an anticipated month-by-month increase that could result in at least 158,000 unaccompanied children arriving from April through September.
The number of children apprehended by CBP and placed in border facilities on Sunday again outpaced the number of children transferred to HHS, the agency charged with caring for migrant minors once they enter the US.
While the President committed to making immigration reform legislation a priority of his administration, Congress has long been unable to garner enough bipartisan support to pass any legislation to change the country’s immigration system.
“The reason they’re coming is that it’s the time they can travel with the least likelihood of dying on the way because of the heat in the desert, number one. Number two, they’re coming because of the circumstances in country,” Biden said.
To compare, in May 2019, at the height of that crisis, 11,475 unaccompanied kids were arrested by US Border Patrol. In June 2014, during the peak surge of children at the border, 10,620 unaccompanied children were arrested by US Border Patrol.
This story has been updated with additional information Monday.
CNN’s Phil Mattingly, Priscilla Alvarez, Maegan Vazquez and Ryan Nobles contributed to this report.