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Opinion: President Obama Should Visit Southwest Border to Address Crisis

Pres. Obama/ white house photo

By Jackie Gingrich Cushman
Townhall.com

Based on this fiscal year’s eight-and-a-half months of activity so far, the number of unaccompanied alien children from Honduras apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol will increase 22 times from what it was in 2009.

That’s a jump from fewer than 1,000 children five years ago to more than 21,000 this year. Similar increases are predicted for unaccompanied alien children from Guatemala — from 1,115 in 2009 to a projected 17,887 — and a 13-fold increase in UACs from El Salvador, from 1,221 to a projected total of 16,145.
In 2012, when immigration was a key issue during the presidential election, the Border Patrol recorded 24,481 apprehensions of UACs. The year before, (ending September 2011), there were 16,067. Since 2012, the numbers have grown dramatically. In 2013, the total was 38,833, and this year’s figure is expected to reach 90,000.

Before 2012, children from Mexico made up more than 75 percent of UACs. Now, according to the Migration Policy Institute, Hondurans make up the highest percentage of children (28 percent), followed by Mexicans (25 percent), Guatemalans (24 percent), and Salvadorans (21 percent).
This seismic shift in children seeking to enter the United States is due to several factors: a change in immigration policy; an increase in violence in their home countries; an increase in smuggling activity; continued poverty in their countries of origin.

The numerous causes make finding a simple solution impossible. There will have to be changes made on many fronts to create a solution.


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