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BC-US--Immigration-Children’s Shelters,ADVISORY, US

December 19, 2018

Editors and News Directors,

Calling your attention to an AP Investigation that moved on the wire today about the 14,300 unaccompanied migrant children in custody of the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement, and how most are being held in large-capacity institutional facilities that experts say can cause long-lasting mental and physical health problems.

As part of the package, the AP has shared data that customers can use to localize this story. The data includes a near-weekly headcount of the children held at individual facilities overseen by ORR since April 2017. The 150 programs are spread across 17 states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington state.

The data covers the period between April 2017 and December 2018 and includes a near-weekly, point-in-time headcount of children in individual shelters and foster care programs. In addition, the AP has calculated raw and percent change in headcount since the U.S.’s “zero tolerance” policy went into effect in May 2018. To help you report this story, the AP has also provided quarterly grant funding and end-of-quarter estimated headcounts for each parent company funded through the ORR shelter grant program.

Spreadsheets may be accessed via AP’s data.world platform for data distributions. If your news organization is not yet licensed to access our data distribution, please contact apdigitalsales@ap.org for enrollment details. You may also contact AP data editor Meghan Hoyer at mhoyer@ap.org.


Decades after the U.S. stopped institutionalizing kids because large and crowded orphanages were causing lasting trauma, it is happening again. The federal government is placing most of the 14,300 migrant toddlers, children and teens in its care in detention camps and residential facilities packed with hundreds, or thousands, of children. As the year draws to a close, some 5,400 detained migrant children in the U.S. are sleeping in shelters with more than 1,000 other children. About 9,800 are in facilities with 100-plus other kids, according to confidential government data obtained and cross-checked by The Associated Press. By Garance Burke and Martha Mendoza. 2000 words moved on Dec. 19, with an abridged version of 900 words. Photos, Video, Graphics.

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