Unaccompanied minors are crossing the U.S. Southwest border in growing numbers again, sparking concerns that the new influx of children could eventually approach the levels that last year prompted the Obama administration to declare a humanitarian crisis.
In October and November, more than 10,500 children crossed the U.S.-Mexico border by themselves, the vast majority from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, according to U.S. government data analyzed by the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank. That’s a 106 percent increase over the same period last year, reflecting a steady increase that began in March.
The numbers are still far below the peak period last year, when more than 10,600 unaccompanied minors crossed the border just in the month of June, swamping federal resources. And the administration, widely believed to have missed the warning signs before the previous surge, “is certainly a lot more concerned and on top of it than they were two years ago,” said Marc Rosenblum, deputy director of the U.S. immigration policy program at the policy institute.
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