U.S.: Illegal Immigrant Entry of Unaccompanied Children Increases

The illegal crossing of unaccompanied minors from Mexico to the United States increased considerably during the last seven months, compared to the same period in 2011, say immigration authorities.

  So far this fiscal year, which started on October 1, a total of 15,590 solitary immigrant children have been arrested, compared to about 10,770 in the same period in 2011 and 13,267 in 2010.

The Mexican children arrested while crossing the border are immediately returned to their country, but for those coming from Central America, the majority are sent to immigration centers to determine their immigration condition and whether they qualify for asylum, NBC reported today.

From a total of children arrested, more than 8,320 Central Americans are at the disposition of the Office of Refugee Resettlement following their arrest by border and customs authorities.

This figure is double the more than 4,000 processed in a similar previous fiscal year period.

The majority of these teenagers come from Guatemala and El Salvador, fleeing criminal gang violence, or their relatives who illegally live in the U.S. fear arrest by U.S. authorities if they try to return home.

Human traffickers charge thousands of dollars for each child illegally moved into U.S. territory.

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