Over 52,000 children from mostly Central American countries, fleeing poverty and gang violence, were caught crossing the U.S.-Canada border from October 1- June 15, 2014.
That is double the number of children who were caught crossing during the same period a year ago.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection estimates that number will grow to 90,000 children by September.
Many families in Central America are taking advantage of a loophole (HR 7311 ) originating from a 2008 law signed into law by Republican President George Bush, requiring Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to turn unaccompanied children over to the Department of Health and Human Services within 72 hours.
Once turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services, an immigration judge will release the undocumented child to a “suitable family member” living in the United States.
The law stipulates that the child should be placed in the “least restrictive setting that is in the best interest of the child.”
The Department of Homeland Security estimates that over 80 percent of these children will secure permanent homes in the United States or else in foster homes scattered throughout the country.
Many Republicans blame Obama’s policies for the dramatic rise in children illegally crossing the U.S border, claiming that it send the message to fleeing immigrants that they will be provided with U.S. citizenship after crossing the border.
President Obama blames poverty and violence in Central American countries for the surge in young immigrants crossing the border.
On June 25th Republican Arizona Governor Jan Brewer toured the Nogales facility in Southern Arizona which houses approximately 1,200 undocumented children.
On Governor Brewer’s Twitter page, she tweeted out the following message, “Touring the facility was eye-opening & heartbreaking. I can’t imagine any parent would accept such living conditions for their children.”
Governor Brewer also tweeted, “After my visit, 1 thing remains abundantly clear: until our border is secured, ANY talk of comprehensive immigration reform cannot proceed.”
President Obama is attempting to make a public relations message to Central American countries that their residents will not be given a free ticket to stay in the U.S. once they illegally cross the U.S. border while warning about the serious dangers that their children will face trying to cross the border.
President Obama wants to see tougher penalties for smugglers (coyotes) who bring children illegally across the border and is requesting expanded powers for DHS to fast-track deportations.
“We have to house these kids and take care of them until the machinery, under current law, allows us to send them back,” President Obama said last week during an ABC interview with George Stephanopoulos.