Herb, you are truly all wet. You see something on the right wing news and assume its accurate. Shame on you, buddy. It's just not true.
Illegal border crossings have declined dramatically in the last 15 years. Unaccompanied minors from Central America is a crisis and a human tragedy to be sure. But in terms of numbers, it is a relatively minor uptick. And it should be seen in the context of the overall drastic decline in border crossings.
The unaccompanied minors number for FY2014 is a projected numberfrom DHS director Jeh Johnson. The total number of apprehensions is unknown, but even if you generously assume 500,000 for the year 2014, it would still be less than 1/3 of what it was back in 1999, and well lower than at any time between 1992 and 2008.
There is, obviously, no hard and fast count on actual illegal border crossings. So border apprehensions will have to serve as a proxy. Now before anyone suggests that border apprehensions could have dropped off because our Border Patrols have been missing in action, keep in mind that the number of Border Patrols at the Southwest border has doubled in this time frame, from around 8000 in 1999, to around 18000 in 2013. Some republicans have called on President Obama to call up the National Guard to patrol the border, on the theory that our Border Patrol has been somehow overwhelmed. Once again, nothing is further from the truth. The number of apprehensions per agent has gone from around 200 per year, in 1999, down to around 22 per year in 2013. Our border Patrol agents are a long way off from being overwhelmed. They are underworked if anything.
Another popular republican talking point is that President Obama's DACA executive order granting temporary stay of deportation to undocumented immigrant minors, has caused this surge of children rushing across the border. Keep in mind that Obama issued this order on 16JUN 2012. The order explicitly spells out that only youths who came in on or before 15JUN 2012, are eligible. Anyone coming in after that date is ineligible. So right off the bat, you can see that it makes no sense for anyone to rush in after that deadline to try to take advantage of DACA. But assuming the Central Americans didn't pay attention to the fine print before plunking down their life savings of close to $10,000 per child to smuggle their kids into the US, does the timing support the republicans' accusation? Let's look at the trend line to see when this surge of minors across the border first took place:
If you look carefully, you will notice that the first surge took place between Jan and Apr of 2012, when the number of unaccompanied minors referred to ORR custody more than doubled in the span of 3 months. This was a few months before Obama announced his DACA executive order. So the timing definitely contradicts the GOP's allegations.
Furthermore, this has been misreported as some kind of children's crusade, when the truth of the matter is that everyone, children and adults, has been running away from these Central American countries. DHS does not break out the origins of all apprehended immigrants, but it does separate out mexican nationals apprehended at the southwest border, vs non-mexican nationals. This latter group would be, to a first approximation, migrants from Mexico's immediate southern neighbors including Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador- the 3 countries at the center of the unaccompanied minors crisis.
As you can see- there has been a huge increase in Central American migrants in general, not just minors. This is central americans running from violence, not just kids seeking purported amnesty. And they are not just running to the US neither. The UNHCR reported that from 2008 to 2013, the number of asylum applications overall from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras filed in Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama, has increased by 712%. Meanwhile, here in the US, the number of unaccompanied central american minors have increased from 3304 in FY09, to 20805 in FY2013, for an increase of 629%- fairly comparable to the UNHCR number. In other words, these central american migrants are running for safety everywhere, not just to the US, further undermining the GOP's argument that they are induced to come to the US by Obama's DACA act.
Nice try Herb but it doesn't fly except on T.V.
Posted on July 12, 2014 - 10:41 PM