Illegal Influx of Central American Teens & Families Continues

by Marguerite Telford –
Center for Immigration Studies –

Catch and release policies attract illegal aliens

WASHINGTON, DC (April 1, 2015) — The Center for Immigration Studies reports that illegal alien juveniles and families continue to flood across the U.S. border. More than 2,000 illegal alien juveniles have been apprehended and taken into federal custody every month this year – the second highest level ever for arrests of illegal alien minors. Family units also continue to see an incentive to enter the U.S.; the Border Patrol apprehended 1,622 illegal aliens who arrived as part of a family unit in January and another 2,043 family members in February, and expect that March’s total could be as high as 2,700.

The overwhelming majority of juveniles apprehended are male teenagers, about one-third of whom claimed to be 17.

ICE has taken custody of illegal alien juveniles from 27 different countries so far this year. Nearly 90 percent were from four Central American countries (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua, in that order); half were from Guatemala. However, 41 percent of the few sent home by ICE were from Mexico.

“These statistics show that the surge of illegal arrivals from Central America was never really over,” stated Jessica Vaughan, the Center’s Director of Policy Studies. “The incentives for people to have their children smuggled into the United States illegally have not changed – they know that under Obama administration policies they will be allowed to stay without consequences. American communities should brace themselves to accommodate more new arrivals.”

View the entire report at: http://cis.org/vaughan/influx-central-american-teen-and-family-arrivals-continues.

The numbers also show that few of those apprehended are being sent home. While taking custody of roughly 2,000 illegal alien juveniles per month since the start of the 2015 fiscal year last October, ICE reports removing well under 200 juveniles per month. Only 2,900 total detention beds are available for families and children, so most of the new arrivals are released and then melt into the larger illegal population. About 90 percent of the recent Central American arrivals who had hearings scheduled last summer and fall failed to appear at their immigration hearings and likely remain in the country.

Contact: Marguerite Telford
202-466-8185, mrt@cis.org

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