An increase in the number of undocumented immigrant families and unaccompanied minors crossing the southern border into the United States from Central America has created fears of a border crisis similar to the one that caused national headlines back in 2014.
A new crisis could potentially add yet more fire to the already-heated battle for the presidency this year and create problems for Democratic presidential candidate nominees Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. It could also give further momentum to Republican presidential candidate nominee frontrunner Donald Trump’s campaign.
Recent figures show that undocumented immigrant families and unaccompanied minors from Central America are arriving at the US border at more than twice the rate seen in the corresponding period the year before. The number could potentially increase even further from next month, when there is traditionally a rise in new arrivals, potentially causing a crisis that would dwarf the 2014 event.
These concerns helped to push the Department of Homeland Security, with the White House’s close cooperation, into cracking down on undocumented immigrants in a number of states. Over 100 people have already been detained for deportation in immigration raids, with immigrant communities living in fear after the surprise raids. Many of Obama’s allies in the Democratic Party are furious about the move.
“Having people afraid to open their doors to strangers, not going to work etc., is not a healthy development,” notes California Democratic Representative Zoe Lofgren. Like many other Democrats, Lofgren wants the immigrants treated as refugees; however, the threat of a new border crisis in election year has put the White House on the defensive.