In November 2014, President Barack Obama offered the chance of deferred deportation for illegal immigrants who met certain criteria. The subject of illegal immigration has been a hot topic in the United States since the 1980s when the Reagan administration and Congress granted amnesty to over 3 million illegal immigrants.
The arrests of illegal immigrants crossing the United States/Mexico border has fallen 75% since the year 2000.
Illegal Border Crossing
Although the number of illegal immigrants can rise and fall depending on specific political situations that occur in Mexico, Central America, or even South America, the trends show that fewer people are crossing the border overall. If you have a pessimistic point of view, however, one might say that more people are getting across the border undiscovered.
- According to the United States Border Patrol, there were over 1.6 million illegal alien apprehensions in the year 2000.
- The number of illegal alien apprehensions in the year 2013: 420,000.
- Although apprehensions are down overall, since 2011, the amount of apprehensions has increased by 26%.
- The apprehension of Mexican nationals crossing the border illegally has declined 84% in the same period.
- The largest decrease of Mexican national apprehensions since 2000 has occurred in the Yuma sector, which declined by 95%.
- Yuma is one of the two cities in the United States that has the highest unemployment rate [23.8%] and it also has the highest illegal immigration rate.
- The Department of Homeland Security has operational control over just 13% of US coastal borders to the north and for the coasts, but 44% of operational control along the United States/Mexico border.
There are a number of reasons why people are for or against illegal immigration. The primary reason why the issue of illegal immigration continues to be a hot button topic is because many see these immigrants as the jobs that Americans could have. Many say that they love the idea of immigration, but to do it in the legal way instead of the illegal way. The only problem is that some households in Latin America are so desperate for change that they are willing to do anything to achieve that change. It is better to be in an American prison for some people than to be a free person in their home country because of the political climate.
How Much Work Is The Us Putting Into Its Borders?
- In 2011, there were 18,506 US Border Patrol agents in the Southwest border sectors.
- The number of US Border Patrol agents in the Southwest border sectors in 1992: 3,555.
- There has been a 117% increase in children 12 and younger crossing the US/Mexico border in the last year.
- Unaccompanied children illegally migrating across the border are much younger than a year ago.
- There has been a 12% increase in illegal border crossings among teenagers in 2013 and the first half of 2014 and compared with the same time frame in 2011-2012.
- The largest increase has been seen in children five years old and younger who have been apprehended: 177% more in 2014 than in 2013.
- Between October-November 2014, more than 57,000 youths have crossed the southern US/Mexico border unaccompanied.
The amount of children that have been coming across the US/Mexico border as of late has likely been the fuel of the recent immigration reform conversations. It would probably be fair to say that President Obama directed part of his executive orders on immigration to be focused on these children so that they could have a fair chance. Many like to talk about how the United States is a Christian nation. One of the core concepts of Christianity is to walk the extra mile for someone when they need it. To give them the coat off your back if they need it. With tens of thousands of children crossing the border without their parents or other relatives, there is definitely something that these kids need. If we are going to live up to the rhetoric that is being put out into the political arena right now, then it’s time that we step up to the plate and start taking care of these kids who need some help.
What Are People Coming From When They Cross Illegally?
- More people from Honduras [13,244] crossed the US/Mexico border illegally then Mexican nationals [11,550] did in 2014.
- 27% of those who cross the border illegally from Honduras were children aged 12 or younger.
- Only 3% of the border crossings that occurred from Mexican nationals involve children 12 or younger.
- The number of illegal border crossings that happened from individuals who came from Guatemala: 11,449.
- The number of unaccompanied girls has increased 77% in 2014 alone.
- The number of girls 12 and younger has grown even faster at 140%.
- Migrant children with a parent tend to be younger than unaccompanied children – 81% of them were 12 years old or younger.
- The number of children who have been apprehended from Honduras has risen by 434% in the past fiscal year alone.
It isn’t the conditions in Mexico that we necessarily need to be concerned about in the United States. It is the changing political climate and attitudes toward women and children that need to be addressed for the illegal border crossing issue to change. Arresting illegal immigrants and deporting them to their home countries is only a temporary Band-Aid on a very large problem. Until we can create laws or circumstances that allow for people to be effectively protected when they are desperate and see no way out, this problem will be as much ours as it is theirs. Changing climates require changing the laws. Whether you are for or against the executive orders on immigration that President Obama issued, we can all agree on one thing: the status quo isn’t helping people as effectively as it should be.