Migration to the United States
by David De La Torre
In Under-age and on the move, The Economist looks at crisis on the American border.
The Rio Grande Valley is now the hottest spot for illegal crossings of the 2,000-mile border between the United States and Mexico. And an increasing number of border-jumpers are children travelling without their parents. The number of unaccompanied children caught crossing has surged to about 52,000 so far this fiscal year, which started in October, up from 15,700 in fiscal 2011. Most of them have come not from Mexico, but from Central America. Of the youngsters caught so far this fiscal year, 15,000 are from Honduras, more than double last year’s number and five times the 2012 tally. (Plenty more get nabbed earlier in the journey: Fernando Lezama, the chief migration official in Corinto, says up to 5,000 unaccompanied Honduran kids have been deported from Mexico so far this year.) The sudden influx of children into the United States has nearly overwhelmed the agencies that must deal with it. Detention facilities for children who cross the border illegally are horribly overcrowded. On June 5th Breitbart Texas, a conservative news site, published leaked photos showing dozens of children crammed into bare rooms. Barack Obama speaks of an “urgent humanitarian situation”. [more]