Journalists were allowed into the main border detention facility in Texas, Tuesday, March 30, revealing more than 4,000 migrants in a severely overcrowded space.
READ MORE: Faced with the challenge of caring for thousands of migrant children who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is asking workers from other federal agencies to volunteer to go to the border region on temporary assignments.
During deployments of between 30 and 120 days, the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement wants the volunteers to help with tasks such as supervising children and collecting contact information for their relatives inside the United States so that they can be handed to over to their family’s care while they go through immigration proceedings.
Children who are taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection are transferred to HHS facilities until they can be placed with a sponsor. Health and Human Services says in more than 80 percent of cases, a child has a family member in the United States, and that about half of those are a parent or legal guardian.
There are currently about 18,000 children in custody, including at HHS facilities located in convention centers in Dallas, Texas, and San Diego, California.