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Immigration Reform News 2015: Thousands of Undocumented Immigrant Minors Apprehended by Border Patrol to Start Fiscal Year 2015

First Posted: Jan 08, 2015 12:15 PM EST
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Thousands of Undocumented Immigrant Minors Apprehended by  Border Patrol to Start Fiscal Year 2015

Thousands of Undocumented Immigrant Minors Apprehended by Border Patrol to Start Fiscal Year 2015(Photo : John Moore/Getty Images)

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) released data on the number of undocumented immigrants already apprehended during the 2015 fiscal year, and according to the numbers, thousands of immigrant children were caught by border patrol agents to kick off the new fiscal year.

The CBP noted 5,143 undocumented immigration children were apprehended by border patrol during the first two months of the 2015 fiscal year, which started on Oct. 1, 2014. The undocumented immigrant children's ages are people 17 years old and lower.

In comparison to the same time period with the 2014 fiscal year, the first two months of 2015's fiscal year represented a 40 percent drop from last year. The first two months of 2014 saw 8,525 undocumented immigrant children detained. For both fiscal years, the Rio Grande sector saw the largest numbers of apprehensions than other sectors recognized by the CBP. For the 2015 fiscal year, 3,222 undocumented immigrant minors were apprehended, followed by Tucson's 858 apprehensions.

"Beginning last year and specifically in the last few months, CBP has seen an overall increase in the apprehension of Unaccompanied Alien Children from Central America at the Southwest Border, specifically in the Rio Grande Valley," noted the CBP. "While overall border apprehensions have only slightly increased during this time period, and remain at historic lows, the apprehension and processing of these children present unique operational challenges for CBP and [the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)]."

According to the CBP, most of the undocumented immigrant children encountered by a border patrol agent were from Mexico, although the statistic is narrowly ahead of minors from Guatemala. Mexican minors encountered by CBP during the first two months of the 2015 fiscal year hit 1,921, while 1,495 children from Guatemala were apprehended. El Salvador had the third highest rate with 1,115 minors, followed by Honduras with 506 minors.

For the entire 2014 fiscal year, the CBP apprehended 68,541 undocumented immigrant children, which was a 77 percent increase from the entire 2013 fiscal year. Overall, border patrol apprehended 486,651 undocumented immigrants during the 2014 fiscal year, which the CBP attributed to the influx of undocumented immigrant minors and family units who turned themselves to border agents.

Meanwhile, the CBP entered 2015 with plans to utilize President Barack Obama's immigration executive actions. As Latin Post reported, the CBP, an agency under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has partnered with the Department of State to launch a fact awareness campaign about the criteria for filing requests for deferred action programs created by Obama's executive actions.

The awareness campaign, titled "Executive Action on Immigration: Know the Facts," is a national and international outreach effort detailing eligibility requirements for the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA). The campaign's target demographic are residents from Mexico and Central America. Print and broadcast public service announcements about the deferred action programs are part of the campaign, some specifically catered for audiences in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

According to a statement from the State Department and Homeland Security, the campaign will "dissuade family members living in the United States from supporting illegal migration of family members, including by emphasizing that persons currently in the United States who help family members illegally enter the country will be barred from DAPA."

As part of the campaign, the CBP website will be updated about DACA and DAPA programs.

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For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: m.oleaga@latinpost.com.

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