Unaccompanied and undocumented children crossing borders

Many people from other countries struggle each year to enter the United States legally, and become U.S. citizens. However, some people are so passionate about getting to the states that they will do almost anything to get here. President Obama has recently addressed a crisis involving unaccompanied children taking extreme measures to cross the Southwest border of the country. Officials believe that close to 120 children do this every day, and this number is much higher than in recent past. The Obama administration believes that at this rate, 130,000 unaccompanied children could be making the trek to America by the year 2015.

The influx in these child immigrants has a lot to do with the increase in violence in Central America, where many of these children are from. Many families there are fed false information saying that a child who enters the United States alone will be able to stay indefinitely. There is also the hope that these children will get to reunite with their parents. Officials are also concerned with the over $2 billion in costs involved with caring for these children next year.

While immigration officials can quickly send back undocumented adults from Central America, it is more challenging to send back unaccompanied children under US immigration law. The children are cared for by the Department of Health and Human Services for anywhere from 30 to 45 days while officials try to place them with a family member or sponsor in the U.S. The child is also placed in removal services and has to plead their case in front of an immigration judge to stay. The child is not entitled to representation, which can make this difficult.

President Obama has declared this an “urgent humanitarian situation,” so it is likely that the issue will be dealt with soon. Nonetheless, for those dealing with US immigration law, seeking the help of a immigration lawyer can make the process much easier.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Children crossing border alone create ‘urgent humanitarian situation’,” Cindy Carcamo, June 2, 2014