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The number of children at the border hit a record high in March | Voice of America

From Washington-The US government picked up nearly 19,000 children traveling alone on the Mexican border in March, officials said Thursday.

A complex combination of US and Central American factors drove the increase. This is in line with the Biden administration’s decision to exempt unaccompanied children from pandemic powers and immediately expel most people from the country without giving them the opportunity to seek asylum. Instead, children are released to US “sponsors,” usually parents or close relatives, but are allowed to pursue their proceedings in a highly delinquent immigration court.

According to the US Customs and Border Protection, authorities encountered 18,890 unaccompanied children in March. This is well above the record highs of 11,475 in May 2019 and 10,620 in June 2014, reported by the Border Guard, which began publishing figures in 2009. Most of them are cross-border.

The number of March was about twice that of the 9,457 unaccompanied children CBP encountered in February, more than five times the total of 3,221 children in March 2020.

A significant increase in children traveling alone (some are 3 years old) and families are not allowed to hold people for more than 3 days, but often put a serious burden on border holding facilities that do so. I will. It is up to the government to find space and hire staff to take care of the children in the longer term until they can be placed with the sponsors.

For many, the hurricane that hit Central America in November added urgency to the endemic poverty and violence that has fled people for decades. Changes in US policy under Biden also led their decisions, genuine or rumored.

Hermerindo Ak, a Guatemalan corn grower who is barely enough to support his family, was expelled from the Rio Grande Valley of Texas to Mexico with his 17-year-old son. Ak decided to send his son to a second attempt after learning that an unaccompanied child could stay in the United States. Ak, 40, said he would return to his family in Guatemala after selling his house to pay smugglers.The plan was for his eldest son to live with a relative in the United States

“I didn’t want to leave him alone,” Ak said last week in the Mexican border city of Reynosa. “Necessity makes us obliged.”

As numbers grow, CBP’s containment facility is packed with more than 4,000 people in a space designed for 250 people at the Donna Texas tent complex. They lay an inch apart on a floor mat with a foil blanket.

CBP must transfer an unaccompanied child to the US Department of Health and Human Services within 72 hours. US Department of Health and Human Services facilities are better suited for long-term care while release arrangements are being made. One day last week, more than 2,000 children were detained longer at the Donna facility, and 39 were there for at least 15 days.

HHS opened its first temporary storage facility in Cariso Springs, Texas on February 22, and has since held large venues near the border, including the Dallas Convention Center and San Diego, Texas’s stadium. Numerous agreements have been reached to occupy. , And Fort Bliss Military Base in El Paso, Texas. The department is also paying for flights for children and sponsors to limit the length of government detention.

Overall, border guards encountered 168,195 migrants on the southern border in March. This is the busiest month since we counted 170,580 arrests in March 2001. The numbers are not completely comparable, as more than half of last month’s encounters were banished under pandemic-related authority founded by former President Donald Trump and maintained by Biden.

People exiled under public health law are much more likely to try again because they are not facing legal implications.

Unlike withdrawal, those arrested under immigration law may face prison time, prosecution of serious offenses for repetitive crimes, and legal immigration bans by marriage or other means. Biden administration officials said the 12-month pre-pandemic recidivism rate ended in September 2019 was 7%, while 28% of the March exiles were previously exiled. It was.

CBP had 52,904 encounters with people arriving as a family, only about one of the three was expelled and the rest allowed to stay in the United States in pursuit of asylum.

Mexico has refused to accept Central American families with children under the age of six due to a new law banning the detention of migrant families, limiting the effectiveness of the expulsion, officials said. Mexico is particularly reluctant to accept families with young children in Tamaulipas, adjacent to Rio Grande Valley, the busiest corridor of illegal crossings.

This means that hundreds of immigrants go to bus stops in Texas border towns such as McAllen and Brownsville on their way to their final destination in the United States. To save time, border guards began releasing migrant families last month. As of Tuesday, there are about 9,600 people. US Rep. Henry Cuellar — Directs you to report to the US Immigration and Customs Department within 60 days instead without notice of appearing in court.

The numbers surged in the final year of Trump’s inauguration, but accelerated further under Biden, who soon ended many of his predecessor’s policies, including putting asylum seekers awaiting a US court hearing in Mexico. It was.

The number of children at the border hit a record high in March | Voice of America

Source link The number of children at the border hit a record high in March | Voice of America

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