Number of Unaccompanied Minors Crossing Border Surges

Friday, 06 Jun 2014 09:57 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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The number of unaccompanied children, mostly from Central America, illegally entering the United States at the southwestern border has nearly doubled over the past year, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The agency apprehended 24,493 unaccompanied minors in fiscal year 2013, according to government data. Through May 31, there have been 47,017 children apprehended and the fiscal year doesn’t end until Sept. 30.

In a May 30 "internal, incomplete working document, neither signed nor made official," Deputy Border Patrol Chief Ronald D. Vitiello writes that the agency expects the figure to surge to more than 90,000 unaccompanied children apprehended on the border this year, rising to 142,000 in 2015, The Washington Times reported. And those figures account for only the number of children who are caught.

The children largely come from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, according to the Times, and are "are usually fleeing horrendous poverty or gang violence. They brave harsh conditions and, in the case of the girls, often face being raped, during their journey through Mexico and across the U.S. border."

Vitiello’s memo comes on the heels of the Obama administration’s efforts to legalize the 12 million people in the country illegally, arguing that border security has improved greatly.

There may have been a change in course. This week, President Barack Obama characterized the number of unaccompanied children – officially known as Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) – as an "urgent humanitarian situation" and instructed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide the children with medical treatment, food and mental health services, The Washington Post reported.

According to a Texas border expert, "exhausted and overwhelmed" border patrol agents are working around the clock to secure the children in "inhuman conditions for an indeterminate period of time," according to Breitbart News.

Not only did the Obama administration fail to see this coming, a huge miscalculation considering "deteriorating security and economic conditions" in Central America, their response has been inept, according to the expert and Breitbart contributing editor, Sylvia Longmire.

"The Obama administration's band-aid fix has been to ship a good portion of these immigrants — many of whom are weak, emotionally vulnerable, sick, and confused — to other sectors as far as San Diego county in California and release them with no obligation other than to show up for a hearing in 15 days," she said.

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