Author(s): Women’s Refugee Commission
Published: October 15th, 2012
“Beginning as early as October 2011, an unprecedented increase in the number of unaccompanied alien children (UACs) from the Central American countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras began migrating to the United States. During the first six months of fiscal year 2012, U.S. immigration agents apprehended almost double the number of children apprehended in previous years. The Department of Health and Human Service’s (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), the agency tasked with the care and custody of these children, had a record number of 10,005 in its care by April 2012.
Violence in three Central American countries is the primary reason behind a dramatic upsurge in the number of unaccompanied immigrant children crossing the border into the United States, and until conditions in these countries change substantially, this trend will be the new norm. The U.S. government is responsible for protecting children who are apprehended alone or without caregivers but has struggled to deal with the influx.”
-Women’s Refugee Commission