Sharp Increase in Illegal Immigrant Children at Border Causes Crisis

Article author: 
Kristin Tate
Article publisher: 
Article date: 
Sunday, June 1, 2014
Article category: 
National Issues
Article Body: 

An overwhelming number of children are being apprehended while attempting to illegally cross the the U.S.-Mexico border during recent months. The crisis, which has strained federal resources, has prompted lawmakers from around the U.S. to demand more funding to "accommodate" the children crossers. Opponents, however, claim that increased funding will not fix the real problem--they believe that the Obama Administration's failure to secure the border is ultimately what caused the spike in child victimization.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, more than 60,000 unaccompanied children are expected to illegally cross into the United States this year--that figure is substantially up from 2011, when only about 6,500 minors crossed. The Rio Grande Valley (RVG) Border Patrol Sector alone now apprehends about 1,000 illegal aliens per day, many of whom are children without parents.

The sharp influx of youth traveling into the U.S. has strained federal resources and left authorities without a plan-of-action moving forward.

Roll Call reported that this "phenomenon" has turned "Border Patrol offices into day cares and military barracks into youth dormitories. The Health and Human Services Department struggles to keep up with the demands for its foster care, often leaving the kids stuck in detention facilities designed for adults."

U.S. facilities have become so overcrowded that 1,000 illegal immigrant children were recently sent to San Antonio's Lackland Air Force Base where they were provided with clothing, food, education, foster care programs, and "behavioral treatment centers." The cost of the provided benefits and housing has not been disclosed to U.S. taxpayers.

Academics and government officials claim to be "stumped" as to why there has been such a steep incline of children illegal crossers along the border.

Some cite safety concerns and the pressure to join cartels.

Breitbart Texas’ contributing editor and border expert, Sylvia Longmire said, "It’s so difficult for many Americans to really comprehend the horrible situation these families and children find themselves in every single day, because we don’t have to worry about our own children being forcibly recruited into these lethal gangs."

Not everyone, however, agrees that safety is the real cause of the increase of child crossers.

Zack Taylor, Chairman of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers, told Breitbart Texas that the Obama Administration's rhetoric has "encouraged" illegal immigrants to cross the border.

"Being an illegal alien is not a right to citizenship," Taylor said. "When Vice President Biden says these kinds of things, that is just an invitation for foreign nationals to come up here. It's time for the U.S to get serious about immigration. We can start by taking away their incentives to be here. All benefits: medical, food stamps, public housing, education, everything."

Rather than focus on the root of the problem, which in Taylor's view is border security, Washington would rather throw money at the problem.

"Senate appropriators have said there is an obvious need for more money to help DHS intercept and humanely detain the unaccompanied minors, to aid HHS in housing and caring for the children and to facilitate trials to determine whether the children will be deported," Roll Call reported.

Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara A. Mikulski told a panel, "This is a humanitarian crisis, and we have to go to the edge of our chairs to at least get the estimate for fiscal ’15...our failure to appropriate could exacerbate the humanitarian crisis."

New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen reportedly added, "Rather than worrying about the silos where the money comes from, we need to think about what we can do that’s right for the kids."

It is easy to surmise that Mikulski, Shaheen, and their colleagues are using emotional appeals to divert attention away from the need to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.

One could additionally surmise that the "humanitarian crisis" was brought about by the Obama Administration's narrative that has seemingly sought to victimize immigrants while demonizing Border Patrol agents.

"The U.S. is partly responsible for foreign nationals taking extreme measures that risk the lives of their children," Taylor concluded. "Our government is encouraging foreign nationals to come into our country illegally and stay."