Immigration crisis: Children flooding the USA border

By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer

unaccompanied minors
Children are showing up at the USA’s border, unaccompanied by any adults. This presents a tragic humanitarian crisis, as the USA tries to figure out how to safely return them home.

A border crisis is building in the USA, as over 60,000 unaccompanied children have entered the nation illegally between last October and this past June. The USA, like all countries, has borders that define its territory. Countries draw these lines to clearly mark where their government can enforce laws, like the ones that determine who qualifies as a legal citizen with the right to vote and be taxed. People from other countries often immigrate to the USA because of its unique freedoms and opportunities, but there’s a long waiting list with millions of people on it, so some foreign citizens try to enter illegally.

Unfortunately, this creates a tough issue for law enforcement – do we send them back, since they broke the law? Do we find a middle ground and help them become legal citizens, but risk weakening the law? There’s no easy answer, especially as thousands of children enter illegally from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. An estimated 90,000 unaccompanied minors will reach the border by September of 2014, and 145,000 by 2015. Congress is considering whether to increase funding to hire more border patrol officers, build detention facilities to hold illegal immigrants while they get sorted out, and employ more judges to evaluate illegal immigration cases.

This week, Texas Governor Rick Perry announced that he is planning to deploy 1,000 National Guard troops to secure his state’s border with Mexico. He has been very vocal about the issue of illegal immigration, especially since Texas is frequently the hardest hit state.

Featured image courtesy of World Bank Photo Collection on Flickr. Image of child at border courtesy of David Dennis on Flickr.