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by
Rick Moran

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May 29, 2014 - 11:17 am
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More than 60,000 illegal children below the age of 18 will cross the border this year unaccompanied by an adult, and the government thinks that number is likely to double next year.

The flood of children from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and other Central American nations is putting a tremendous strain on government resources. Reuters reports that not only is there simply no room to house the children, but the budget problem makes it difficult to adequately care for them. It costs the U.S. $252 a day to care for each child and the total cost this year could reach $868 million. That number is expected to climb to $2 billion next year.

The tenfold increase in illegal minors crossing the border alone since 2011 is partly the result of relaxed deportation policies of the Obama administration. But it is also true that many of these children are escaping poverty, abuse, and rampant violence in their home countries.

The shortage of housing for these children, some as young as 3, has already become so acute that an emergency shelter at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, has been opened and can accommodate 1,000 of them, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in an interview with Reuters.

The issue is an added source of tension between Democrats and Republicans, who disagree on how to rewrite immigration laws. With comprehensive legislation stalled, President Barack Obama is looking at small, administrative steps he could take, which might be announced this summer. No details have been outlined but immigration groups are pressing him to take steps to keep families with children together.

The minors flooding over the border are often teenagers leaving behind poverty or violence in Mexico and other parts of Central America such as Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. They are sometimes seeking to reunite with a parent who is already in the United States, also without documentation.

“This is a humanitarian crisis and it requires a humanitarian response,” Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski said in an interview. The Maryland Democrat, a former social worker, has likened the flood of unaccompanied children to the “boat people” of past exodus movements.

Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, the senior Republican on Mikulski’s committee, said, “The need is there, you know the humanitarian aspect of it, but we’re challenged on money.”

Immigration groups lobbying for comprehensive reform argue that children are being hit hardest by the political deadlock.

With an even bigger funding challenge looming for 2015, Mikulski worries corners might be cut. She said children could end up being placed in federal holding cells meant only for adults and that funds might have to be shifted from other programs, such as refugee aid, to help cover the $252-per-day cost of detaining a child.

Mark Lagon, who coordinated the George W. Bush administration’s efforts to combat human trafficking, tied the sharp increase in unaccompanied minors to both U.S. economic factors and escalating violence in Central America.

He noted that there was a decrease in migration to the United States in the period 2008-2010 that reflected the U.S. economic downturn, and that has been reversed.

What’s to be done? I have some ideas on the next page.

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All Comments   (13)
All Comments   (13)
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So, is this merely one more effort to extort a lax immigration policy by using children as the mode d'emploi? That is, once the kids get here, then the search for their families occurs, and once found, rather than send the kids back (cries of "inhumane" abounding), the parents are granted some form of legal status?

It breaks my heart to think of a three-year-old being yanked from his family and dumped in an alien environment, but I am equally aware that we don't owe these kids anything; we don't owe their native countries a free pass to ship their populations to us to support, educate, and absorb. And I have to say, I resent the idea that we seem to be expected to do so.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Parents from these countries simply send their children to the US? I can only assume they believe in the US their children will protected and raised as opposed to being abused and exploited. That's an awful lot of faith to place in a bunch of complete strangers.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
A nation that takes and borrows money from productive citizens to give to residents considered as having a hard time has only two options: Control its borders or go bankrupt.

There are bordering on 600 million people in Mexico, Central and South America. All but a tiny fraction of them would consider themselves wealthy if they could live at the level allowed by U.S. government benefits to the poor.

I get why Democrats don't worry about illegal immigration: They expect to benefit from it in the short run and in the long run divide between elites who don't see collapse as their problem and Democratic clients who don't think about the future.

What I don't get is why Republicans see so much benefit in cheap labor that they're willing to accept millions more Democratic voters and ultimate economic collapse as the price.

We ARE GOING to control our borders. We may do it by considered government action or in some other way, but either before or after a collapse of our economy, it will be done.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
We: Even the prospect of Dream Act-like legislation (or executive order) will result in tens of thousands of minors crossing the border with the expectation of amnesty.

They: Don't be ridiculous. Of course it won't. You just say that because you're racist, anti-immigrant and lack compassion.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
When you subsidize something you get more of it. Quit subsidizing illegals and you'll get less. Quit funding foreign aid and cutting free trade deals with border nations who fine, incarcerate, and punish illegal immigration to their countries but routinely aid those who violate our laws and cry foul in the international press should we dare to enforce ours. America was populated by many legal immigrants who learned the American way of life, our culture and our laws. While they retained in many instances their foreign roots, they all fervently became Americans. Illegal Aliens remain just that illegal and Alien. They only know the culture and way of life that they are running here to escape but do nothing to melt into American culture. Given time and numbers they will soon turn the USA into just another cesspool of corruption, crony capitalism or fascism, and fixed corrupt government. With Obama, we are well on our way there.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The countries of origin for these children must do a better job of protecting them."

Good luck with that. The U.S. has become the dumping ground for nations that don't want to take care of their own. In case no one has noticed, it is not the educated class in Mexico, Honduras and Columbia that are sneaking across our southern borders.

Why do we all those nations to thumb their noses at us while we continue to give them BILLIONS in foreign aid to make their countries better? We need to give them notice, today, that they have a responsibility to keep their citizens out of our nation, and unless they do, all foreign aid will cease today.

Instead, we capture over 400 foreign illegals in South Texas and fly them to Arizona just to turn them loose at a Greyhound bus station.

This is pure insanity. Our borders, and our sovereignty has to mean something other than lip service.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, it appears that our leaders are intent on sending them to immigration reform school.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why $252 a day to care for each child? This doesn't exactly smack of efficiency but of course, we're talking about gov't here. A nice vacation costs about that daily. Hmmmmmm.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Another post errantly reported. Sorry.

15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
send them back to their parents, how dare we look to separate children from their parents.

Or that is what we are told about returning illegals and breaking up families.

But this stream of children has to be the result of our policies. Children to get special treatment so parents make this sacrifice to give their children a chance.

Sorry we can't afford it.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
so what parents send a three year old across the border without a parent.

And we are supposed to handle this. But tell me again why it costs $252/day to care for each child. Sorry this is government run amok, large tents, for placing the children, Sheriff Joe houses and feeds convicts for far less.

Sorry but we don't have the money to demand from our citizens to pay for these people, and sacrifice their own childen to pay for others.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
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