Of the 168,000 caught illegally entering the United States in the Rio Grande Valley from October, 2013 to May, 2014, 33,000 were “unaccompanied” minors. Since 75% are from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, we are also supposed to believe that they traveled the entire length of Mexico not only without their parents, but without the Mexican authorities even noticing.
In the meantime, many have reported physical and sexual abuse in “shelters.”
The root cause of the influx is obvious. Our President is aware of the lawlessness and is using the children in a in a political ploy to beat at the resistance to immigration reform in the US. (“Obama delivered a commencement address at a technical school in Worcester, where he said 30 to 40 percent of the students were children of immigrants.”)
And now, we hear that ICE releases 90% of the children to “sponsors.” Not just with family members, but with “friends* already in the country. Who is to say what happens to the children when the authorities can’t even keep up with their whereabouts? Are they being further abused and trafficked?
No one knows. There doesn’t seem to be any way – or any effort? – to track them once they are released.
The simplest and most urgent need would be to close the border to more illegal crossings. At the same time, we must convince Mexico to stop ignoring the passage of hundreds of thousands illegally making their way through that country. We should also begin to track at least the minors we have already taken into custody after they are released. Finally, we must return these children and families to their homes in their own country.
This is not the time for hyperbole and political grandstanding, but for practical action. My concern is not only that our national security and sovereignty is severely compromised: If our current immigration and border control policies result in human trafficking and child abuse, we may see a lasting international debacle.