More than 2,000 illegal immigrant children continue to arrive in the U.S. each month, according to Department of Homeland Security statistics compiled by the Center for Immigration Studies. While more illegal immigrant children are entering the country this fiscal year than at this point in fiscal years 2012 and 2013, the number of children crossing the border has not yet surged as it did last year.
The Center for Immigration Studies’ report shows that 84 percent of the children crossing the border are teenagers, most of whom are male. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which takes custody of the illegal immigrant children, has encountered kids from 27 different countries this year alone, according to the report.DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson has attempted to spin earlier reports of the number of unaccompanied alien children to his benefit. “[T]he number of unaccompanied children apprehended at the southern border, month-to-month, are the lowest it has been in several years,” Johnson testified before the House Appropriations Committee last week. “As of March 15, 2015, the total number for the fiscal year is 43 percent less than it was the same time last year.” But the charts Johnson included with his written testimony, do not seem to fully back up his assertion. More unaccompanied alien children crossed during January and February of this year, than did during the same time frame in 2012. Moreover many children still cross as family units, with siblings, parents, or other relatives.
Several Border Patrol agents and law enforcement officials at the southern border expect another influx of illegal immigrants will occur again this summer, and have already begun preparing for a second wave of illegal immigrant children from Central America. Whether DHS and other federal departments are prepared to handle any increase in illegal immigration remains to be seen, but CIS claims that fewer than 200 illegal immigrant children are deported by ICE each month.