Immigration News Today: Number of Unaccompanied, Undocumented Immigrants Apprehended by Border Patrol Up 77 Percent from 2013
U.S. Customs and Border Protection updated the number of undocumented immigrant children encountered on the southwest U.S. border.
The CBP disclosed apprehensions of unaccompanied, undocumented minors increased 77 percent during the fiscal year of 2014, which started on Oct. 1, 2013. The latest CBP update includes data through Sept. 30 of this year. With September's figures, 68,541 minors were apprehended by border patrol. The minors were apprehended without a parent or guardian.
The CBP noted nine "sectors" as susceptible to unaccompanied, undocumented children on the southwest U.S. border. The Rio Grande sector received most of the apprehensions, with 49,959 minors detained by CBP, a 132 percent increase from the 21,553 during the 2013 fiscal year. The Tucson, Laredo and Del Rio sectors also encountered heavy numbers of undocumented immigrant minors. The Tucson region, with 8,262 minors detained, however, has encountered a decline of unaccompanied minors compared to last year, with a decline of 9 percentage points from 2013.
The CBP highlighted the data of unaccompanied, undocumented immigrant minors from Mexico and select Central American countries. Data from 2009 to 2013 revealed Mexico as the top country with unaccompanied undocumented children entering the U.S., but over the past year, the the tide changed with El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras each surpassing Mexico's figures.
During the fiscal year of 2014, 18,244 unaccompanied minors from Honduras entered the U.S. In comparison to the 2013 fiscal years, only 6,747 Honduran minors were encountered by the CBP. In 2009, Honduras represented the least number of unaccompanied minors from Central America, with 968.
Guatemala placed second, based on 2014 fiscal year data so far. The CBP disclosed 17,057 unaccompanied children entered the U.S., more than double 2013's 8,068 figure. Salvadorans more than doubled their rate of entering into the U.S. The CBP noted 16,404 unaccompanied children from El Salvador entered the U.S., an increase from 5,990 during the 2013 fiscal year.
Mexico, with 15,634 unaccompanied minors, placed fourth. The rate of Mexican minors entering the U.S. is a decline from 17,240 during the 2013 fiscal year.
Latin Post contacted CBP in regards to the latest figures. CBP Public Affairs Director Michael Friel said, "We have not yet released the full fiscal year (Oct. 2013-Sept. 2014) numbers but are working toward that goal." Friel noted more information will be released soon.
As Latin Post reported, President Barack Obama issued a presidential memorandum granting El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras natives the opportunity to apply for refugee status in the U.S. without first migrating north. The presidential memorandum is aimed at stopping undocumented immigrants from taking the "dangerous journey" to the U.S., but White House spokesman Shawn Turner was quick to clarify the program was not a "pathway" for individuals, namely children, to "join undocumented relatives in the United States." Similar programs have existed for other countries, including Cuba.
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