One Year Later: New U.S. Policies That Have Led To Fewer Children Crossing Border


, , ,

2014 – Children who crossed the U.S. border in greater numbers than ever
After the number of unaccompanied minors from Central America at the U.S.-Mexico border reached a peak last summer, President Barack Obama declared it a national emergency, setting in motion a number of proposals and initiatives to handle the tens of thousands of children who made it into the United States, and to avoid a future similarly chaotic surge.
The most key steps have been taken by the Obama administration, Congress and the governments of Mexico and Central America. They arguably have had an impact – since peaking in 2014, the flow of unaccompanied minors dropped sharply the first four months (October through January) of fiscal year 2015, with some 10,000 youths arrested at the southwest border, according to a report by Congressional Research Service.

“For far too long drug smugglers have continually used loopholes in our nation’s immigration law to make billions, all while preying upon the weakest in our society. The Protection of Children Act of 2015 stops this abuse and removes the loophole human traffickers have used for years.”

– Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman, John Carter (R-Texas)

That marked a 40 percent decline over the same period in fiscal year 2014.
And as with virtually any move having to do with immigration, the steps are not sitting well people on all sides of the debate about the unaccompanied minors.
The administration assigned hundreds of Border Patrol agents to the Rio Grande Valley sector.
The White House, with the governments of Central America, publicized through media in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador the dangers of crossing the border, and sought to dispel notions that the United States had rolled out a red carpet for people arriving without proper travel and immigration documents.
The message warning about criminals who prey on – and have no qualms about killing – minors who cross the border has appeared on billboards, in newspapers and on radio, among other venues.
The administration also allocated $9 million over two years to pay for lawyers for some 2,600 children. It built detention space in various states around the country, including places to hold families.
The moves that seek to deter illegal crossings vex advocates for the minors, who say they are inhumane and do little more than try to keep Central Americans in dangerous situations
To read full story: