Saturday, May 28, 2016

More than 100 Salvadorans per day apprehended crossing into US

Statistics from the US Customs and Border Patrol show a new surge of unaccompanied children from El Salvador as well as Guatemala and Honduras.   The biggest surge is from El Salvador, where 9617 minors have been apprehended in the seven months between October 1, 2015 and April 30, 2016.    In contrast, for the 12 month period ending September 30, 2015,  9389 children were apprehended.   So with 5 months left in the US government's fiscal year, last year's total has already been exceeded.  In addition, there were 13,392 Salvadorans apprehended so far crossing the border in groups that included an adult and a child.    

It is no coincidence that the surge in migrants comes at the same time as the bloody surge in El Salvador's gang-fueled violence.

To provide a comparison, the 23 thousand Salvadorans captured compare to roughly 9000 from Mexico, despite Mexico's much larger population and proximity to the US.   That's almost 100 people per day picked up after fleeing El Salvador, and it does not count the people who manage to avoid the border patrol and enter the country, or adults who are not traveling with one or more children, or those people who are arrested or abused on the dangerous trek through Mexico..

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has announced a new series of immigration raids in May and June targeting mothers and children.  The administration says the deportees have exhausted their legal appeals to stay in the country and have overstayed deportation orders.  Civil rights activists and others have roundly condemned the raids which result in women and children being dumped back in the violence-plagued communities they fled from in the first place.

What El Salvador needs is more assistance with the conditions that prompt people to flee -- not a policy based on the flawed assumption that raids and deportations are going to deter the current flow.

No comments: