They are being released into local communities.
The Obama administration has quietly abandoned its aggressive months-long search for emergency shelters across the nation as the number of children illegally crossing the southern border alone continues to drop.
At the same time, three facilities at military bases in Texas, California and Oklahoma set up as shelters are no longer housing children from Central America.
An official with the Department of Health and Human Services, which led the search for shelters, said there’s been a decrease in the number of children apprehended at the border and an increase in the number of children sent to live with families or friends.
“We have begun to see some initial signs of progress along our southwest border,” said Kenneth Wolfe, a spokesman for HHS’ Administration for Children and Families.
The number of unaccompanied children traveling from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, most through the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, surged this year. But officials say the influx slowed this summer likely because of many factors, including the weather, a media campaign urging parents not to send their children to the U.S. and the arrest of some bringing children over the border.
Advocacy groups that work with immigrants cautioned that there is always a dip in the numbers during hot summer months and that they could spike again.
“It’s seasonal,” said Megan McKenna of Kids In Need of Defense, an organization that provides legal services to unaccompanied immigrant children. “We’ll see what happens when it becomes cooler.”