Spike in unaccompanied immigrant children crossing to the U.S. prompted worry with U.S. authorities.
This October, approximately 5,000 unaccompanied immigrant children were caught as they were attempting to illegally cross into the U.S. According to data released by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the number is double that of October 2014.
Immigrant children aren’t the only concern of federal authorities. The same report released on Tuesday states that immigrant families trying to illegally cross into the U.S. has tripled this October compared to October 2014. While the month of October last year brought 2,162 family members at the U.S. border, this year, 6,029 family members were caught while trying to illegally cross into the U.S.
The high increase in immigration numbers took officials by surprise. It was estimated that the figures will drop as the colder months are coming. In addition, enhanced border control and enforcement on the U.S. border, as well as Mexican authorities ramping up efforts to curb Central America immigration into the U.S. were expected to take a toll on immigration numbers.
The trend seemed to be dropping as by mid-2015 the immigration numbers dropped significantly compared to October 2014. Now, the spike in unaccompanied immigrant children crossing to the U.S., as well as other illegal immigrants is reversing the decreasing trend.
October 2015 marked the highest number of unaccompanied immigrant children since 2009 according to the Washington Office on Latin America, a Washington D.C.-based think-tank. Moreover, the trend is atypical as it doesn’t follow the usual spike in spring and decrease in winter. This year, since the month of July both the number of unaccompanied children and families illegally crossing the U.S. border has been constantly on the rise.
Of those registered in October this year, the majority were attempting to illegally cross the U.S. border from El Salvador. Here, the uptick in violence (amounting to 30 murders per day just in August) has pushed many to flee the conflictual state. Before El Salvador, the highest number of illegal immigrants came from Guatemala.
Rio Grande Valley is notorious as the center of migration in Texas. It has kept its main hub position for a long while. Nonetheless, according to the recently released report, immigrants are now increasingly venturing to the west. 237 unaccompanied immigrant children were apprehended in Del Rio sector. 187 unaccompanied immigrant children were apprehended in the Big Bend area. Last year, only 13 were caught here.
Yet, it seems it is not the choice of the children or the families. According to the Homeland Security Department, most immigrants interviewed stated that smugglers decide the border crossing points.
Photo Credits: Wikimedia