Pew Research Data: Kids Crossing Border Up 117 Percent

Image: Pew Research Data: Kids Crossing Border Up 117 Percent Boys wait in line to make a phone call as they are joined by hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children being processed and held at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center. (Ross D. Franklin/Getty Images)

Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 11:05 AM

By John Blosser

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The illegal immigrant crisis flooding America's southern border illuminates a new trend — the majority of the new arrivals are adolescents, and their numbers have increased rapidly over the past year.

Politico reports that the Pew Research Center has obtained, through Freedom of Information Act requests, data showing that between fiscal year 2013 and 2014, the number of apprehended unaccompanied minors under age 12 has increased 117 percent.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection
reports that the surge in minors unaccompanied by parents adds to the overall total of 57,525 apprehended illegal immigrants under the age of 18 on the Southwest border, up from 27,884 in 2013.

The majority of the minors, and the majority of the increase, came from Honduras, according to Pew, which reported 13,244 total Honduran minors apprehended in 2014, as compared to just 6,740 in 2013; while 9,835 came from El Salvador in 2014 compared to 5,987 in 2013; 11,449 came from Guatemala in 2014 and just 8,058 in 2013.

By comparison, the number of undocumented, unaccompanied minors from Mexico has ebbed from 17,219 in 2013 to only 11,550 in 2014.

Pew reports that Honduras also takes the lead in children accompanied by parents, a number which has increased by 434 percent since last year with 12,074 accompanied minor children apprehended.

While President Barack Obama has requested $3.7 billion in emergency funds to deal with the crisis, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said it is likely that no action will be taken until after the five-week August recess, according to The Washington Post.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told the Post, "No Republican’s going to write a check without changes to the law. How many changes in the law you get is the subject of negotiation."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told the Post, "Instead of considering a thoughtful, compassionate solution to a real-life crisis on our border, radical Republicans are trying to hold these kids for ransom."

The Post reports that several Republicans have proposed new legislation to address the 2012 executive action by Obama which, they claim, gave the false hope that minors would receive amnesty, and the 2008 anti-trafficking law, which made it more difficult to quickly deport illegal minors.

In a Washington Post poll, 58 percent said they disapprove of the way Obama is handling the crisis, while 68 percent disapprove of the way Republicans are addressing the problem.

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