12,800 Migrant Children Being Held in US Federal Detention Centers, Says Report The number represents a drastic increase from the 2,400 children detained in May of last year. Since May of 2018, Many of these facilities are exempt from child welfare inspections. The main reason for the dramatic increase is that fewer children are being released to sponsors in the U.S. This is due, in part, to a new Trump administration requirement that sponsors be fingerprinted before children are released to them. Many of the extended family of migrant children — Citing "exploitation by traffickers and smugglers," Statement, HHS, via CBS News Statement, HHS, via CBS News