The Obama administration was forced to announce emergency measures to try and get a handle on the recent surge of both illegal unaccompanied minors crossing the border and families. Two months into the new fiscal year, the number of unaccompanied minors jumping the border and getting caught is at an all-time high. So far, the U.S. Border Patrol has picked up over 10,500 – more than twice the number at the same point last year. The number of families trying to cross also has surged, with more than 12,500 people caught – 173 percent increase over last year. The surge in numbers of families show how many parents are now increasingly taking the risky trek with their young children, hoping to take advantage what they think are lenient deportation policies under President Obama. Seasonal trends in Migration has changed this year, which has left the Obama administration unprepared to handle a problem that Homeland Security officials hoped was behind them.
“We continue to aggressively work to secure our borders, address underlying causes and deter future increases in unauthorized migration, while ensuring claims are afforded the opportunity to seek protection,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement. November’s 5,615 illegal immigrant children caught at the border is the highest monthly total since June 2014, when some 10,508 were apprehended. Among families, the 6,476 people apprehended in November, mostly women with young children, was the most since July 2014, when 7,436 were caught. The vast majority of unaccompanied children and families come from three Central American countries: El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
A federal judge this summer ordered that women and children illegal immigrants not from Canada or Mexico, that are detained at the border be processed quickly and released in the U.S. to await their court dates, which often don’t come for years afterwards. Apparently, this has created a new incentive for many women travelling with children to cross the border knowing that they likely will be allowed to remain in the country at least for a period. It appears that unless a shift in this policy is brought about, the numbers of Central American immigrants crossing into the United States illegally will likely continue to trend upward.