July 21, 2014
by Angela Wu
The surge of undocumented, unaccompanied Central American and Mexican children crossing the southern border of the United States is overwhelming Border Patrol facilities. Between October 1, 2013 and June 15, 2014, over 52,000 undocumented minors have been detained along the border, according to Alejandro Mayorkas, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Much of the recent influx has been attributed to rumors that the United States is offering amnesty to children who make it across the border. Although the Obama administration denies this, the misperception of leniency may be motivating parents to protect their children from rampant gang violence at home by entrusting them to coyotes, hired guides who promise to bring the children safely across the border.