Tags: Immigration | Border Patrol | illegals | Central America | Rio Grande

Border Patrol Preps for Another Surge of Illegals This Summer

Border Patrol Preps for Another Surge of Illegals This Summer
(John Moore/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 11 March 2015 10:16 AM

The number of Central American children and families crossing the southern U.S. border is expected to increase this summer, overwhelming shelters and courts, the Los Angeles Times reported.

According to new Border Patrol statistics and projections, while the surge will likely be smaller this year, the Border Patrol is expecting to catch about 39,000 unaccompanied children and about 53,000 families on the southern border in 2015.

If the projections are correct, it would represented a 43 percent decrease in unaccompanied children and a 23 percent decrease in families compared to last year, but even with the projected decline, the number of families crossing the border illegally would be more than triple the number who crossed in 2013, the Times said.

More than half of those crossing appear to be coming through the Rio Grande Valley, which saw a decrease of 17 percent since the same time last year, Border Patrol reported.

"I don't think the conditions in those countries have changed to stop the push" for families and children to immigrate to the U.S., Bryan Johnson, a New York-based lawyer who works for immigrant youth and families, told the Times.

"I don't think it's [immigration in South Texas] going to be as high because of the administration's efforts to stop it, but it's still going to be substantial."

Since the surge last year, the Border Patrol has recruited more agents, particularly females, to deal with the influx and Homeland Security opened more detention centers. Courts have also prioritized immigration cases.

"The federal government has engaged in an aggressive, coordinated response to provide humanitarian care," Kenneth Wolfe, a spokesman for Health and Human Services which runs the shelters, told the Times. He said they had also been "heightening deterrence, enhancing enforcement, strengthening foreign cooperation, and increasing border security."

"As a result of these efforts, the number of unaccompanied children attempting to cross the Southwest border has declined precipitously, and the federal government continues to focus its resources to prevent a similar situation from developing in the future," he added.

Some immigration advocates, however, say the government hasn't done enough to address the challenges, even with lower levels of migrants coming into the country.

"They're completely unprepared," Johnson said of federal agencies, according to the Times. "When stuff happens fast, they're going to be at capacity again and there's going to be a backlog…You'd think that people would learn from their mistakes, but I don't think they have."

This time last year, government officials began to see an increase in the numbers of families and children crossing the border and the pattern appears to already be taking shape for this year.

"We are seeing the numbers picking up. More space is being created in the adult detention centers for women. The next few weeks are telling. March is usually the month when you start to see the curve bend," Jonathan Ryan, executive director of Raices, a non-profit for free or low-cost services for children and families that have immigrated.

"We're gearing up for a busy summer."

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The number of Central American children and families crossing the southern U.S. border is expected to increase this summer, overwhelming shelters and courts, The Los Angeles Times reported.
Border Patrol, illegals, Central America, Rio Grande
505
2015-16-11
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 10:16 AM
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