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The Number of Migrant Kids Held in Texas Shelters Plummeted in 2019


  • Ilana Panich Linsman via ACLU
The number of migrant children Texas shelters has dwindled to its lowest level in two years, according to reporting by the Texas Tribune.

The decline comes after the Trump administration's hardline immigration crackdown overwhelmed the state's shelter operators and forced thousands of kids into the system for prolonged periods.

Texas’ 35 state-licensed shelters now house 1,355 kids, putting them at 23% capacity, the Tribune reports, citing data from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement.

That's down from a December 2018 peak, when the facilities held 8,549 children, straining them to 85% capacity.

The number of kids ending up in shelters exploded last year after the Trump administration began its controversial and now-discontinued family separation policy. That policy took migrant children from their parents at the border and treated them as if they were "unaccompanied minors."

Currently, there are 196 children in six San Antonio shelters, according to the Tribune.

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