US

Feds Obscure Huge Spike In Central American Migrants

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Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

The flow of supposedly unaccompanied minors from Central America is almost two-and-half-times as much as last’s year inflow, and there’s still two months to go before the government’s fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

The number of people crossing in family units is up almost five-fold to 62,856, the total number of border-crossing youths and children is up more than three-fold to at least 80,000, and the total number of adults and children has grown four-fold from 30,000 to 120,000, compared to 2013, according to federal data.

But officials have tried to obscure the growing inflow, partly because polls show that most Americans believe the border meltdown is a crisis, and many blame President Obama for it.

An Aug. 7 press release by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol declared that 62,988 “unaccompanied alien children” had crossed the border between October 2013 and July 31, 2014. That’s only twice the 31,491 youths and minors who crossed the border from September 2012 to July 31, 2013, according to the CPB data.

That’s the less-bad news that is being reported by most media outlets. “The 62,998 children represent a 100 percent increase from the number of unaccompanied children detained in 2013,” said an Aug. 7 report from Politico.

But officials obscured the rise in Central Americans by including the declining number of border-crossing Mexican youths in the release.

The inflow of Mexican youths fell in 2014 compared to last year, partly because nearly all are quickly repatriated.

But Central American youths are allowed to stay and file court pleas for green cards. That’s because the White House has decided they should be treated under a 2008 law intended for severely abused victims of sexual trafficking.

Once the Mexican youths are subtracted from the numbers, this year’s inflow of Central American youths has reached 47,906.

That’s two-and-a-half times as much as the 20,805 Central American youths and children who crossed in 2013.

Federal officials also say the number of “unaccompanied alien children” arriving in July dropped by 50 percent, down to 5,508. Roughly 10,000 crossed in May and June.

However, that sharp drop may be caused by the high summer temperatures. Many observers expect the number of migrants to rise again in August and September.

The CPB report also downplays the even faster growth in the number of Central American migrants who arrive in “family units,” consisting of adults and children.

This year’s total has reached 62,856 people by July 31, said the CPB statement. That’s more than five time’s last year’s inflow of 11,001 people in “family units.”

The statement did not say how many youths are included in the “family units.” But if only half are children, the total 2014 inflow of Central American minors has jumped to 80,000 by the end of July.

That’s more than three times the 25,000 who crossed in 2013, and there’s still two months left in in the fiscal year.

Even though the inflow of people in “family units” has risen far faster, government officials have focused media attention on the inflow of supposedly unaccompanied youths, and portrayed them as pitiable children trying to escape strife and gang-warfare.

In fact, most of the youths are older teenagers and grown men, some of whom are criminals. Many are accompanied through Mexico until they reach the federal agencies by professional smugglers who are working under contracts with the minors’ parents, most of whom are living illegally in the United States.

Most of the roughly 80,000 youths and children are being sent to U.S. schools, even though few speak English, few have grade-school education and some only speak Indian languages.

Each extra youth’s education will cost Americana roughly $10,000 per year in education costs. That’s an annual cost of roughly $800 million, not counting the roughly 30,000 youths allowed across the border in 2012 and 2013.

Under current practice, most of the supposedly unaccompanied youths from Mexico are quickly repatriated. That quick treatment has reduced the 2014 inflow to 3,675, down from 17,240 in for the 2013 fiscal year.

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