What Has Become Of The Child Refugees?

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It has been three months since the humanitarian crisis along the border caught national attention and we learned of the horrific dangers young children from Central America were fleeing their homes from, attempting to seek refuge in our country by crossing our borders.

The crisis has since received little media attention after Governor Rick Perry, the Republican figure leading the efforts to deport all the children, was indicted on charges of abuse of power. But many of the problems still remain today.

According to the latest figures by the Border Patrol, the number of child refugees crossing the border has dropped significantly these past two months amid the hot summer months. During this 2014 fiscal year, which ends this month in September, there has been over 66,000 children apprehended along our borders. Just over 50,000 in the Rio Grande Valley alone.

BP agents apprehended around 3,000 children this past month in August, and another 5,000 in July. These numbers are significantly less than June, when agents apprehended over 10,000 children.

Crossing the border for these kids meant a chance at staying alive, even if only for a few more days.

Since being apprehended by Border Patrol this summer, numerous children have already been forced to face deportation. At least five of these young children have since been murdered upon re-entering their home countries. The number of innocent lives lost is sure to rise if more are deported.

For the many children that remain here, September has meant an opportunity to return back to school. Under federal law, every child is entitled to a free education. No matter their documentation status. However, the number of refugee children being enrolled in school is still uncertain. Counties with enrolling children have requested and received additional federal money to assist with additional resources needed.

Honduran and U.S. delegates met this weekend to discuss the crisis — among the delegates, Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio).

This past weekend, Honduran authorities and five U.S. Congressmen met to discuss the reasons behind the crisis and how prevent it from occurring again. Violence and crime were the causes discussed as to what forced these young children to flee their homes.

Honduran gov. representative Jorge Ramon Hernandez re-emphasized how these children came from the “most violent areas of Honduras.” Hernandez argued that the trafficking of drugs is the “major cause of the violence” in Latin America. This, of course, is a major problem directly caused by our country's massive illegal drug consumption and our failed drug policies.

According to the Associated Press, the Department of Justice has instructed the federal immigration court to move the children's deportation hearings to the very top of the court's docket. Their deportation hearings will be heard ahead of the already 375,000 backlogged pending immigration court cases.

Ultimately, no real solution will come from deporting these children back to the violence they have fled. Only more deaths.

Follow Omar on Twitter at @AraizaTX.


About Author

Omar Araiza

Staff writer Omar Araiza covers immigration, Latino voters, the U.S.-Mexico border, and LGBT issues. He is a proud South Texas native, born and raised in the lower Rio Grande Valley. Omar tweets from @AraizaTX.

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