Underaged Border Crossing: A Burgeoning Immigration Issue – By Elizabeth Hartley
An article by Newsmax.com on Underage Illegals crossing border published last week reports that recent numbers show that an estimated 500 illegal children, aged 3 – 18 years, cross the United States border from Mexico on a daily basis. These children are undocumented and unaccompanied by their parents or other adults.
Escaping from corrupt governments such as those in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, where drug and gang violence on the streets are rampant, many of these underaged border crossing are literally “fleeing for their lives.”
The underaged border crossing is not a new phenomenon, but USAtoday.com Numbers growing exponentially reports that the numbers have grown exponentially in recent years. In 2011, 7,500 children were taken into custody by the Department of Health and Human Services; in 2012, 13,625 children were apprehended; and in 2013, the numbers swelled to more than 24,000 children.
As a result, various “resettlement centers” have been opened along the border in Texas and in Arizona to house unaccompanied minors that have attempted to cross our borders illegally. Children are also housed in unidentified military bases in California, Oklahoma, and Texas because of the growing numbers of children apprehended. As the numbers of undocumented minors continue to grow, and the fact that our borders are far from “secure” as the Obama administration would have the public believe, a public outcry over the wealth of taxpayer money spent on housing, clothing, feeding and sustaining these undocumented minors is apparent.
Ancillary problems accompanying these underage undocumented immigrants amplify the problem. For example, many of the teenage females are either crossing with their babies, or are crossing while pregnant. There is also growing concern for illness and disease that may be brought across the borders as the numbers surge and space runs out.
The conditions are undoubtedly crowded and in some instances, chaotic. The ACLU and immigrant-rights groups recently filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security alleging multiple instances of abuse and mistreatment of undocumented children while in the custody of Customs and Border Protection. The burgeoning hordes of undocumented minors are becoming a publicized immigration issue that our administration must address in a real way, rather than simply throwing taxpayer money at it.