More than 500 migrant children have spent more than 240 hours in the jail-like detention centers at the border as of Thursday, according to a DHS document obtained by NPR.
"It takes time to build out of the depths of cruelty that the administration before us established," DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said.
The children are held at hotels, instead of shelters, until they can be put on planes to their home countries. This bypasses the normal process that gives children a chance to ask for asylum.
The Trump administration is trying to legalize indefinite detention of migrant families. But detention can be emotionally crushing for kids, leading to long-term mental health problems like PTSD.
Unaccompanied minors cross the border without family or support. "Any kid that's in my house is, at least while they're here, safe," says one foster mother, Christi.
Advocates described a desperate and squalid scene in detention facilities. Days later, reporters given a tour of a Border Patrol station at Clint, Texas, saw a clean, orderly facility.
John Sanders is expected to make his resignation effective July 5, two officials say. The move comes after hundreds of children were removed from a facility without adequate food and sanitation.
NPR's Scott Simon reflects on the unsanitary conditions for detained migrant children in border detention facilities.
The Office of Refugee Resettlement is telling migrant shelters to scale back on activities that are "not directly necessary for the protection of life and safety."