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Illegal Immigration Statistics and News: 6,000 Children Repatriated to Mexico Since Beginning of Year

First Posted: Jun 15, 2014 03:22 PM EDT

More children continue to cross the border illegally into Texas as the year continues with projections that would almost double last year's numbers; however, the federal government has also began sending the children back to their home countries, though they are likely to return.

More than 6,000 Mexican children were repatriated back to Mexico in the first couple of months of the year, according to a statement released by the Mexican government on Saturday. The children and teens had left their home countries to escape poverty and drug and gang violence as well as to join family members already in the States.

"From Jan. 1 to April 30, 2014, the Mexican consular network offered assistance to 6,233 unaccompanied Mexican minors ... in the process of their repatriation to Mexico," a statement from the foreign ministry said, according to the AFP.

Many of the kids returned back to Mexico had at least been caught once trying to cross the border. Around 77 percent of the kids and teens had been caught at least once previously trying to cross the border, while around 21 percent had been found at least five times attempting to cross illegally.

From October to May the number of children crossing the border without an adult has risen to 47,000 straining the government's ability to care for all these children. As a result, the Obama administration has allowed for more facilities to be made available for the processing of undocumented children, the latest being Fort Sill in Oklahoma.

The administration has asked for $2.3 billion, an estimated $140 million more than the president initially asked for in his annual budget request to Congress. The budget funds a project by Health and Human Services that helps process the undocumented children.

Because the administration has scrambled to handle the rising number of children illegally crossing the border, many have criticized the government for not being prepared; however, the government argues it was prepared for the influx and has been aware of the rising number of children but did not expect such large numbers.

NBC News reported that in recent years the number of children crossing with an adult has risen precipitously. In 2011, about 13,525 children crossed, but in 2012 it rose to about 25,000.

One of the laws passed by the Bush administration could be behind the rise in migrant children. Marc Rosenblum from the Migration Policy Institute argued that the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act passed in 2008 could encourage children to cross the border because it guarantees certain protections to unaccompanied children who are not from Mexico or Canada. 

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