Feds see surge in children crossing US border amid concerns over - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Feds see surge in children crossing US border amid concerns over immigration policy

Posted: Updated:

The number of children caught crossing the U.S. border has surged over the last two years, raising questions about whether the Obama administration's changing immigration policies are creating a magnet. 


You might also like...

HOT: Wife's Dying Wish for Husband's New Family!!!!!

WTF: Africa AIDS Tweet Firestorm!!!

HOHOHO: Santa’s Salary $138K!?!

SHOCK: Bull Sharks Caught Near DC!!!!

CRASH: Cop Car Wreck at 'Transformer' Filming!!!!!


Like us on Facebook

Statistics released late last week show 24,668 "unaccompanied alien children" were placed last year in the care of the federal agency that, by law, is responsible for them. That's nearly double the number from 2012, and nearly quadruple the number in years past. 

As is often the case with immigration statistics, it's unclear what is driving the increase. The surge could be driven in part by better enforcement, and immigration officers doing a better job catching border crossers.

But critics point to other factors. A federal judge in Texas claimed earlier this month that the Department of Homeland Security has been delivering children smuggled across the U.S.-Mexico border to their illegal immigrant parents. In June 2012, the administration decided to give a reprieve to young illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. 

Critics say these policies send a clear message south of the border: The rewards of trying to cross into the U.S. outweigh the risks. 

Chris Crane, who heads The National ICE Council immigration officer union, said agents are being "overrun" with children crossing the border. 

"We can't keep up with it," he said. 

According to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, most of the minors come from Central America -- largely Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. 

The stats show a big spike over the last two years. The office recorded an "unprecedented increase" in 2012, with the number jumping from an average of 6,775 to 13,625. 

The numbers refer to children who are intercepted by the Department of Homeland Security. Under federal law, many of those children are transferred to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, within the Department of Health and Human Services. 

They are supposed to be entered into immigration proceedings, though Judge Andrew Hanen questioned, in his Dec. 13 order, whether this was necessarily happening, particularly in cases where minors were reunited with their parents. 

Most of the children are housed through a network of federally funded care centers. But as the traffic increases, those are becoming over-burdened. The situation drew national attention in 2012 when Lackland Air Force Base in Texas was used to house dozens of children. 

The children can in some cases be placed with relatives. But Hanen, in his Dec. 13 order, claimed the practice is going too far. He accused the government of effectively aiding the drug cartels which play a big role in human smuggling rings and claimed the practice is "encouraging" more smuggling. (It's unclear to what extent the ORR statistics count those who are transported to their parents in the U.S.). 

Some of the children who cross illegally into the U.S. can petition for legal status. According to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, those seeking asylum or who can demonstrate they were abused or abandoned by their parents in their native country can be eligible. Non-profits sometimes provide legal representation for these individuals. One such group, Kids in Need of Defense, notes that many are escaping "abuse or persecution" in coming to the U.S. 

While dealing with the influx of children and teens crossing the border, the Obama administration has tried to prioritize deportations for those who have committed crimes while in the U.S. -- while going easy on so-called "DREAM Act"-style cases. 

Hanen wrote that his court is "not blind to the needs of a minor child," and recognizes the right of prosecutors to use their "discretion" in such cases. 

However, he wrote, "those who hear that they should not fear prosecution or deportation will not hesitate, and obviously have not hesitated, to [violate immigration law]."   

  • Viral StoriesMore>>

  • Cow herd kills German woman hiker in Austria

    Cow herd kills German woman hiker in Austria

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:24 PM EDT2014-07-29 16:24:40 GMT
    VIENNA (AP) -- Police say a herd of cows attacked and killed a German woman hiking through their fenced-in pasture after apparently being riled by the sight of her leashed dog. They said Tuesday the 45-year old victim was rushed by about 20 cows and their calves. Attempts by an emergency crew to revive her were unsuccessful. The attack occurred Monday on a mountain pasture in Austria's Tyrol province. The woman's name was not released, in accordance with Austrian confidentiality rules. © 201...
    VIENNA (AP) -- Police say a herd of cows attacked and killed a German woman hiking through their fenced-in pasture after apparently being riled by the sight of her leashed dog. They said Tuesday the 45-year old victim was rushed by about 20 cows and their calves. Attempts by an emergency crew to revive her were unsuccessful. The attack occurred Monday on a mountain pasture in Austria's Tyrol province. The woman's name was not released, in accordance with Austrian confidentiality rules. © 201...
  • New app helps teens calm anxiety

    New app helps teens calm anxiety

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:46 AM EDT2014-07-28 15:46:49 GMT
    Anxiety disorders affect one in eight teens. There are medications and therapies that can help alleviate symptoms, and now there’s even an app that can help. The MindShift app aims to teach young adults how to combat everyday anxiety, panic, conflict and worry. Teens can input their symptoms and the app will create a plan to help reduce stress. Created by two non-profit organizations, Anxiety BC and BC Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Mindshift app gives users the ability to ...
    Anxiety disorders affect one in eight teens. There are medications and therapies that can help alleviate symptoms, and now there’s even an app that can help. The MindShift app aims to teach young adults how to combat everyday anxiety, panic, conflict and worry. Teens can input their symptoms and the app will create a plan to help reduce stress. Created by two non-profit organizations, Anxiety BC and BC Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Mindshift app gives users the ability to ...
  • Toddler crashes Jeep, runs home to watch cartoons

    Toddler crashes Jeep, runs home to watch cartoons

    Monday, July 28 2014 9:07 AM EDT2014-07-28 13:07:54 GMT
    MYRTLE CREEK, Ore. (AP) -- Police say a toddler crashed a Jeep into an Oregon home, then ran back to his home to watch cartoons. Authorities say the 3-year-old boy who was wearing only a diaper climbed into the Jeep Tuesday evening and knocked it out of gear. Witnesses say it rolled down the street, through an intersection and into the house, causing minor damage. KPTV reports (http://bit.ly/1rhWlK6 ) an officer found the boy on a couch watching TV as if nothing had happened. He said his par...
    MYRTLE CREEK, Ore. (AP) -- Police say a toddler crashed a Jeep into an Oregon home, then ran back to his home to watch cartoons. Authorities say the 3-year-old boy who was wearing only a diaper climbed into the Jeep Tuesday evening and knocked it out of gear. Witnesses say it rolled down the street, through an intersection and into the house, causing minor damage. KPTV reports (http://bit.ly/1rhWlK6 ) an officer found the boy on a couch watching TV as if nothing had happened. He said his par...
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices