In the month since I first wrote about the growing border crisis for Ramirez Group’s blog, another 5,000 children have attempted to cross the United States–Mexico border by themselves.
The updated number comes from a July 9th NPR report by Alan Greenblatt stating that the number of unaccompanied children who have attempted to enter the United States has risen to more than 52,000 children. The same article explains how the issue is compounded by a “U.S. policy which allows Mexican child migrants to be sent back quickly across the border, but under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, children from Central America must be given a court hearing before they are deported or allowed to stay. Given the huge backlog of cases, they may have to wait years for a hearing.”
Is the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act fueling a mass migration to the United States, or is it something more deeply rooted in these children’s countries of origin? According to a report published in The Daily Beast by former New York Daily News columnist Michael Daly, “between 2001 and 2010, ICE flew 129,760 convicted criminals back to Central America. These included 44,042 who arrived in Honduras on daily flights.”
Our previous report on this issue explored how the majority of these unaccompanied children are not coming from Mexico, but rather from Central American countries like Honduras (now considered the “murder capital of the world”). The current crisis now seems to be partly the result of the United State’s mass deportations of criminal immigrants back to inadequately equipped correctional and judicial systems.
Congress has responded rather ironically to President Obama’s request for special funds to deal with the crisis. According to Mara Liasson in a recent radio report she gave on NPR, “Now, Congress might not want to give the President any of [the $3.8 billion Obama requested]. Today, the House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Bob Goodlatte, said the president created this disaster by not enforcing the border and not creating enough consequences for illegal immigration. He says the President’s asking for too much money to process the children and not enough for deterrents.” Yet if Congress is not willing to allocate funds for this crisis, then what solutions will they offer?