(above) A group of immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally are detained in Granjeno, Texas, June 25, 2014.(AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Written by Brittany M. Hughes
(CNSNews.com) – Data obtained by CNSNews.com from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CPB) shows about 128 unaccompanied alien children (UACs) were apprehended at the Southwest U.S. border every day during the month of May. In total, 3,965 children were caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally during that month alone.
According to the data, May was the month with the most UAC apprehensions since the start of Fiscal Year 2015 on Oct. 1.
The monthly totals of apprehended UACs have been steadily increasing since January, when 2,119 children were caught at the U.S.-Mexico border. Since then, another 2,388 children were apprehended in February, 3,131 were apprehended in March, and 3,275 were apprehended in April.
During the same time, the Obama administration has continued to tout its newly launched Central American Minors Refugee/Parole Program (CAM).
Marketed as an effort to help Latin American children avoid the dangerous and sometimes fatal journey to enter the United States illegally, the program was set up throughout Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to reunite children living in those countries with their parents who live, many of them illegally, in the United States.
Children who do not qualify as “refugees” under the legal federal definition may be granted discretionary parole into the United States on a case-by-case basis.
The program was one of a number of sweeping reforms to the U.S. immigration system set up under an executive order by President Barack Obama last year. Under CAM guidelines, certain illegal aliens from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – including recipients of Obama’s executive amnesty programs — can petition for their children still living in those three countries to be brought to the United States. The process includes mandatory DNA-testing, a medical clearance, applications and an interview process, as well as some reimbursable fees and travel costs to be paid by the parent.
Since the program was first launched on Dec. 1, 2014, there have been 565 applications for the program as of April 23, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services annual Ombudsman Report published on June 29.
During that same time frame, more than 13,000 unaccompanied minors crossed the Southwest border illegally.
So far in FY2015, CBP reports that 22,896 UACs have been apprehended at the Southwest U.S. border as of June 1, which is the most recent data available. That number is down by roughly half from the same time period in FY2014, when 46,858 UACs had been apprehended by June 1.
SOURCE: CNS News