More youths crossing U.S.-Mexico border alone

More youths crossing U.S.-Mexico border alone

Unaccompanied teens and even children, many from Central America, often cross into Texas illegally in search of safety.

HARLINGEN, Texas — They come from Central America with slips of paper sewn into their pockets bearing names they are sometimes too young to spell. Parents send them with Bibles, rosaries and small wooden crosses in their backpacks.

The flood of undocumented immigrants has slowed compared to five years ago — likely due to tighter border enforcement and the economic downturn in the U.S. — but in its place is a new immigration surge even more confounding: children and teenagers traveling through the rugged border lands into south Texas, lured by the promise of safety. Up to 120 unaccompanied youths are arriving each day, officials say, a number that has tripled over the last five years and that by some estimates could soon reach 60,000 a year.

The southeastern edge of Texas has become the busiest border crossing in the country for these wandering youths, most of whom are adolescents, though some are as young as 5 or 6. Last year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents apprehended more than 21,000 minors traveling without families on a roughly 315-mile stretch of the Rio Grande that runs west from Harlingen to the south of Laredo. That was more than half the total of 38,833 detained nationwide.

Changes in U.S. policy to expand legal residence opportunities in the U.S. for undocumented youth, along with job prospects, may have led some families to send younger family members on the journey north.

By Molly Hennessy-FiskeFebruary 21, 2014, 10:45 p.m.

HARLINGEN, Texas — They come from Central America with slips of paper sewn into their pockets bearing names they are sometimes too young to spell. Parents send them with Bibles, rosaries and small wooden crosses in their backpacks.

The flood of undocumented immigrants has slowed compared to five years ago — likely due to tighter border enforcement and the economic downturn in the U.S. — but in its place is a new immigration surge even more confounding: children and teenagers traveling through the rugged border lands into south Texas, lured by the promise of safety. Up to 120 unaccompanied youths are arriving each day, officials say, a number that has tripled over the last five years and that by some estimates could soon reach 60,000 a year.

The southeastern edge of Texas has become the busiest border crossing in the country for these wandering youths, most of whom are adolescents, though some are as young as 5 or 6. Last year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents apprehended more than 21,000 minors traveling without families on a roughly 315-mile stretch of the Rio Grande that runs west from Harlingen to the south of Laredo. That was more than half the total of 38,833 detained nationwide.

Changes in U.S. policy to expand legal residence opportunities in the U.S. for undocumented youth, along with job prospects, may have led some families to send younger family members on the journey… Continued here: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-texas-young-migrants-20140222,0,6021371.story#ixzz2uGLF5UEU

Sarah Palin backs Greg Abbott, Katrina Pierson in Texas Previous post Sarah Palin backs Greg Abbott, Katrina Pierson in Texas Texas police double as Mahmoudberg's militia Next post Texas police double as Mahmoudberg's militia