With all the stir immigration reform caused in the last two elections, the issue has become dead in the water on Capitol Hill. A sudden surge in the immigration of undocumented children, most of whom are unaccompanied by parents, is swamping the borders and overwhelming Border Patrol.
Since 2011, the number of children crossing the border has tripled. Partially this is due to the growing instability in Central America and partly it's due to lenient government policies. Children come to America, hoping to reunite with family members already here, trying to escape the violence of their home country, thinking they'll be able to stay if they successfully cross the border.
Another problem is that it's difficult to return the children coming in. When illegal immigrants from Mexico cross the border, the U.S. government can simply return them. Child immigrants however would need to be picked up by parents or guardians, who are difficult to find, are not forthcoming or simply don't have the ability to travel and retrieve the children.
The result is thousands of minors, most of them teens, here on American soil, and nowhere to put them. Makeshift facilities are being set up in warehouses, but there are concerns about these substandard conditions. Border patrol workers are overwhelmed by the day care duties with so many children.
Serious problems are already arising-- including complaints of child abuse and molestation.
Unfortunately, even as hoards of immigrants continue to cross the border, little is being done in Washington. "The impetus for action remains on the House," was all President Obama had to say to the Associated Press last week. The House is doing nothing. Maybe some of these kids will grow up one day, become citizens and do something about it. It’ll probably be faster than waiting for the current government to get their act together and do something.
Photo: The Hill