Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Yesterday, President Obama declared the surge of unaccompanied minors crossing the United States border an "urgent humanitarian situation," and asked Congress for funding to address it. This morning, Mother Jones published a months-long investigation into this surge of "tens of thousands of unaccompanied children, some as young as five, crossing the border" each year. Ian Gordon reports that these minors face a perilous journey to escape extremely violent and impoverished conditions in their home country. In 2013, the number of unaccompanied minors apprehended crossing the border more than doubled to 38,833 and this year, officials estimate the number will double again to more than 70,000. Once apprehended, the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement places those children not coming from Mexico in one of 80 temporary shelters across the country while they await deportation proceedings. Even those who manage to avoid deportation face an uphill battle as many must overcome PTSD and integrate into new homes, "often with relatives who are essentially strangers, in neighborhoods rife with the same problems they once tried to escape." You can read the investigation in full here. You can also read Gordon's accompanying story that details the journey that many minors face once they are deported to their home country.