The flow of undocumented immigrant minors into the United States is expected to increase to record numbers this year even as the number of deportations continues to fall, leading members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have claimed. A minimum of 20,455 unaccompanied immigrant minors were apprehended during the 2016 fiscal year as of January on the border between the US and Mexico, committee chairman, Senator Chuck Grassley, has revealed.
Grassley has warned that should the current trend continue the amount of undocumented immigrant minors entering the United States could eclipse that of the massive surge experienced two years ago in 2014, which strained Department of Homeland Security resources and resulted in an investigation of the handling of the situation by the Obama administration.
During the Tuesday hearing, at which several senior figures from the Obama administration were present, Senators heard that as even as the figures rise, the amount of undocumented minors actually being deported from the country is falling. The hearing took place just one day after it was disclosed by oversight officials that scores of immigrant minors have been lost track of by the Obama administration, with many having been sent to live with people in the US who had not gone through vigorous background checks.
“If these trends continue, we can expect to see an even greater number of minors crossing the border this year than in 2014” Grassley claims. “No one is following up on these individuals when they skip their immigration hearings, unless they are receiving post-release services… A lot of these minors are nowhere to be found.”