Monday, July 7, 2014

Unaccompanied minors and refugees from Central America

This will be the first of several posts on the crisis of unaccompanied minors coming from Central America. Described as a "humanitarian crisis" by some and an "illegal immigration crisis" by others, the current situation with refugees/undocumented immigrants from Central America has shifted the agenda of the politics of immigration in the last month. In particular, the number of unaccompanied minors has increased dramatically from 26,000 last year, to 52,000 since October. This is a multi-faceted issues, that raises many issues, but it is not necessarily an issue of border enforcement. Most of the minors crossing the border are surrendering to the Border Patrol, and are not necessarily trying to sneak into the U.S.  It is a humanitarian crisis because our own laws require these children to be processed and the system is not equipped to handle these numbers.

Here is more on the issue from back in June:
Many of the children and families coming to the U.S. are fleeing violence in Central America, as shown in this report from the Department of Homeland Security, and posted by the Pew Research Center:
DHS map of where unaccompanied children are coming from in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador
Another factor is Mexico's southern border:
NBC News has a subject page on the "Immigration Border Crisis" which follows the many facets of this story: 

More to come soon!

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