Pregnant teens, teen moms caught in border crisis especially vulnerable

Immigration

Cribs sit in a room as the U.S. Border Patrol unveiled a new 500-person tent facility during a media tour Friday, June 28, 2019, in Yuma, Ariz. As the crisis at the border has deepened over the last year, one group of migrants is particularly vulnerable: teen moms and pregnant girls without parents of their own. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX (AP) – As the crisis at the border has deepened over the last year, one group of migrants is particularly vulnerable: teen moms and pregnant girls without parents of their own.

Unaccompanied minors are held by the government until a vetted sponsor — usually a relative — can take them in while their immigration cases play out in court.

Attorneys who interviewed the teens at several government facilities recently found they lacked medical care, were afraid to speak out when their babies got sick and went weeks without being able to shower or brush their teeth.

Customs and Border Protection apprehended over 56,200 unaccompanied youths in the Southwest border from October to May. Health and Human Services officials say the agency has had about 500 teens with babies in its custody since October.

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