U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently released its numbers for July; they show that 5,561 unaccompanied children were apprehended, plus 42,566 individuals in family groups and 23,872 adult individuals.
That makes a total of 69,157 people who passed or are still held in inadequate Border Patrol stations.
The numbers have a resonance with Washington state. The year-to-date number of apprehended people at the southern border is 760,370. That is about the population of Seattle. Please, just let that sink in for a moment.
My primary concern is for the children. What has happened to the 5,561 children taken into custody last month?
The Flores Agreement requires detention of no more than 72 hours; however, we know the capacity of the system cannot meet the demand.
We should consider all of these children traumatized, more so because many were separated from their families at the border. Some are infants and toddlers.
Congress needs to call in the National Guard and the Red Cross to take care of these children. The Border Patrol, through no fault of their own, cannot do it.
Maire Masco, Tacoma