Photo: Border Patrol
U.S. border authorities have recorded over the past two weeks a significant drop in the number of unaccompanied Central American children crossing the southern border into the United States, a welcome easing of the humanitarian crisis caused by the flood of youngsters arriving in the country in recent months.
A Border Patrol official in McAllen, Texas, told local media that over the past few days, fewer unaccompanied minors have been rounded up trying to cross the border in that area, and, he said, one day only 80 children were detained, far fewer than last month’s daily average of 300.
Consular officials in Texas from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, the countries where most of the children come from, said Friday that the decline in detentions is considerable compared with the numbers in previous months.
“We have seen a reduction of some 70 percent in the detentions of minors from Guatemala,” Allan Perez, the Guatemalan consul in McAllen, told EFE on Friday, adding that the decline has been continuous since last week.
The consul said the drop in border crossings could be due to the informative television campaigns now airing in Central American countries warning of the risks of illegal migration.
The southern Texas border has been the place where, between October of last year and last June, more than 57,000 unaccompanied youngsters have been detained by the Border Patrol for trying to cross the border illegally, double the number of minors captured the year before.
The massive arrival of unaccompanied children prompted President Barack Obama to ask Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency funding to deal with this humanitarian crisis, but Republicans say they will not approve the money unless current law is amended to accelerate the deportation of undocumented Central American migrant children.