A Year After Obama Declared a “Humanitarian Situation” at the Border, Child Migration Continues

Following MPI’s report which I recently shared, I am sharing NACLA’s story on increased enforcement in Mexico.

They write,

“While children have been fleeing poverty and violence in Central America for years, in 2014 the number of unaccompanied migrant children apprehended at the U.S./Mexico border reached an astonishing peak. By the end of fiscal year 2014, the U.S. had apprehended over 68,000 children at the border, resulting in a media and political maelstrom. Given that the U.S. Border Patrol recently reported a dramatic drop in the number of unaccompanied migrant children detained at the U.S./Mexico border, it might seem like the crisis at the border has ended. Certainly, a 51% drop since last year is significant, and some media sources have lauded the U.S. government’s collaborative efforts for resolving what President Obama referred to as an “urgent humanitarian situation.” Yet, after speaking with unaccompanied migrant youth in Mexican immigrant detention centers this summer, we’re far from convinced. In fact, the ‘urgent humanitarian situation’ is nowhere near resolved; it’s merely shifted south of the U.S./Mexico border where children continue to be detained and deported at an alarming rate. Rather than solve the ‘crisis at the border,’ the U.S. has elected to outsource immigration enforcement to Mexico instead.”

Read more here.

Migration Policy Institute releases report: “Migrants Deported From the U.S. and Mexico to the Northern Triangle”

This report very aptly demonstrates that the decrease in the number of UCMs apprehended at the US border are not due to bettering conditions in CAm, but in greater intervention of the Mexican government.

From MPI’s press release:

“WASHINGTON – The United States and Mexico have apprehended nearly 1 million Salvadoran, Guatemalan and Honduran migrants since 2010, deporting more than 800,000 of them, including more than 40,000 children. While the United States led in pace and number of apprehensions of Central Americans in 2010-2014, Mexico has since pulled ahead, apprehending one-third more adults and children than the United States so far this year.

Amid increasingly muscular enforcement by Mexico, U.S. apprehensions of Central Americans for fiscal 2015 to date have fallen by more than half compared to the prior year. Many of those who previously would have made it to the U.S. border and been apprehended by the Border Patrol now are being intercepted by Mexican authorities.

The findings are contained in a new Migration Policy Institute (MPI) report, Migrants Deported from the United States and Mexico to the Northern Triangle: A Statistical and Socioeconomic Profile, which suggests that the increased Mexican enforcement capacity is reshaping regional dynamics and perhaps ushering in changes to long-lasting trends in regional apprehensions.

“The main force at play in the region today with respect to immigration enforcement is the ‘squeezing of the balloon’,” said Doris Meissner, director of MPI’s U.S. immigration policy program and co-director of MPI’s Regional Migration Study Group, which produced the report. “To succeed, responses to regional migration dynamics must move beyond shifting the flows and instead begin deflating the pressures that generate them.”

To achieve a more comprehensive policy, the report suggests that the United States and Mexico, working with Central America, should design migration policies with workable enforcement and humanitarian protection as well as development policies that address poor standards of living, improve citizen security in the Northern Triangle and facilitate the re-integration of deportees.”