At the end of federal fiscal year 2019, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) had detained more than 76,000 unaccompanied minors at the U.S.-Mexico border, which is a 52% increase over the number held in FFY 2018. About 10,400 of those children came from migrant, but the most significant percentage came from the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The increase in total family units detained also increased exponentially from FFY 2018 to FFY 2019. CBP detained over 473,000 families at the border, as opposed to about 107,000 in FFY 2018, which represents a 342% increase.
The Trump Administration has unsuccessfully fought to deter unaccompanied minors from entering the U.S. by separating families at the border and making it more difficult for minors to apply for asylum. Mexico has experienced similar increases in the number of unaccompanied children attempting to enter that country. When Mexico detains children, however, they immediately go into the national child protection system to find them housing and care.
Some experts say that it is the vast increases in detention rates for families and unaccompanied minors that have clogged up an already overburdened immigration court system. The current system of detention and court proceedings is not designed to handle families and children, which makes the current surges in migrant families at the border unsustainable.
While most migrant families and children now are returned to Mexico to await their chance to apply for asylum, conditions have worsened and grown more dangerous at the border. Mexico does not have the shelters, food, or other resources to handle the massive influx of families, who often must wait for months at the border before being able to apply for asylum. Crime also has increased in this area of the country, along with injuries and deaths to children and families.
The immigration attorneys of Peek & Toland have the experience that you need when you are seeking any relief or benefit under federal immigration laws. We will determine the facts and evidence that are relevant to your case, evaluate your options, and help you decide the best course of action for your situation. We intend to place you in the best position possible to achieve your goals. Contact our Texas immigration attorneys at our office today and learn how we can assist you through this complicated situation.