The number of children apprehended on the U.S. border attempting to immigrate illegally has surged more than 1,200 percent since 2011 and the number of these children crossing the border during 2016 could be another record, according to a newly released government report.
The number of unaccompanied alien children (UACs) illegally crossing the U.S. border “has increased sharply” since 2011, with a surge of more than 1,200 percent just between 2011 and 2014, according to the Congressional Research Service. The agency also disclosed that the flow has increasing significantly in the first five months of fiscal 2016.
The illegal immigration of these children hit record-breaking numbers in 2014, with U.S. officials apprehending more than 52,000 alien children. Nearly 20,000 have been apprehended in the first five months of 2016, setting the stage for another potentially record-breaking year.
“This unexpected surge of children strained U.S. government resources and created a complex crisis with humanitarian implications,” the report said. “They increased in the first five months of FY2016, however, and experts warn that significant migration flows will continue until policymakers in the countries of origin and the international community address the poor socioeconomic and security conditions driving Central Americans to leave their homes.”
The illegal immigrant surge was composed mostly of children who had fled from Central American nations—including El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—before making their way to the United States across the Mexican border.