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'Desperation' is sending 20 times more Cuban children alone to U.S.-Mexico border

Children detainees sleep in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility in Brownsville,Texas.
Eric Gay
/
AP
Children detainees sleep in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility in Brownsville,Texas.

Hundreds of unaccompanied Cuban children have shown up at the U.S.-Mexico border this past year, as more parents appear to be sending their kids away amid deteriorating conditions in Cuba that have already brought a record number of people from the island to the United States.

“The increase in the number of children and adolescents among Cuban migrants suggests an intensification of the desperation felt by many families residing on the island,” said Jorge Duany, director at Florida International University’s Cuban Research Institute, “and that they do not find another way out of the crisis that the country is experiencing than to leave it in search for better life opportunities for the youngest.”

Since October, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has had 662 encounters with unaccompanied Cuban children at the southern border, compared to 32 encounters in the fiscal year 2021 and 57 encounters in 2020. That’s a 1,969% increase between the 2021 and 2022 fiscal years alone.

Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald.