Pew Research Report: Nearly 90% of Illegal Immigrant 'Children' Are Teenagers

Nearly all of the illegal immigrant children who have been apprehended along the U.S.-Mexico border in the last two years have been teenagers. 

According to a new Pew Research report, in fiscal year 2013, 91% of illegal immigrant "children" apprehended at the border were teenagers. Of the nearly 60,000 illegal immigrant "children" who were apprehended since October of last year, 84% have been teenagers.

Pew obtained the government figures through a Freedom of Information Act request, and the numbers paint "the first publicly available detailed portrait of the age and home country of child migrants —unaccompanied and accompanied – caught at the U.S.-Mexico border from Oct. 1, 2012, to May 31, 2014."

Pew also noted that while the number of children ages 12 and younger who have been apprehended has increased, "the number of apprehensions of children who are accompanied by a parent or guardian has increased at a far faster clip, nearly tripling (160% increase) in less than a year." According to the data, "in the partial fiscal year 2014 data provided, 22,069 accompanied children were apprehended, up from just 8,479 during all of the previous fiscal year."

There have been nearly 60,000 illegal immigrant children who have crossed the border since October of last year, and federal officials estimate at least 150,000 more will enter the country in the next fiscal year. The number of illegal immigrant children entering the nation from Central America drastically spiked after President Barack Obama enacted his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that gave temporary amnesty to certain DREAMers in 2012. The murder rate in Central American nations declined since then. 

Texas state Senator Dan Patrick said law enforcement officers have said somewhere between one in five and one in 10 illegal immigrants are actually apprehended, which means there could be nearly 300,000 illegal immigrants who have snuck into the country undetected since October of last year. Patrick also noted that Texas has 100,000 illegal immigrant gang members and there are more illegal immigrants entering the state each week than people who are born in Texas during the same time period.


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