Over 12,500 immigrant minors, unaccompanied by parents or guardians, have arrived in the United States illegally via the south-west border during the current fiscal year, the newest Customs and Border Protections data reveals; in addition, more than 11,130 families have been apprehended in the period between the months of October and February.
As was the case in 2014, these undocumented immigrants were predominately from El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Guatemala and were fleeing gang violence and poverty; however, many critics blame the president’s executive action on immigration reform for encouraging the influx. In 2014 there was a surge of immigrants from Central America of unprecedented levels, with tens of thousands of undocumented immigrant families and unaccompanied minors crossing the border. The Washington Examiner claims that just one out of every six undocumented immigrant minors is being sent back home, despite an average 2,000 per month being taken on by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Jessica Vaughan, an expert at the Center for Immigration Studies, says that Border Patrol is likely to apprehend around 42,000 unaccompanied immigrant minors in 2015 if projections bear out. “And this is supposed to be the slow time of year,” Vaughan commented, adding: “Cities and towns that have already received large numbers of unaccompanied illegal alien minors should brace themselves to repeat the process again in the coming months.”