As thousands of child migrants entering the country illegally have completely overwhelmed federal facilities along the U.S.-Mexico border, the Obama Administration refuses to say how many of the minors will be deported. White House officials did, however, state that many of the children will have to undergo deportation proceedings.
According to Roll Call, administration officials did not specify how many of the children, if any, will be sent back to their home countries during a call with reporters. Instead, administration officials stressed that the wave of illegal immigration was the result of violence in Central America.
The White House has been on the defense, as Republican politicians are largely blaming the sharp increase in illegal crossings on the Obama Administration’s actions and rhetoric.
On Monday, White House deputy press secretary John Earnest responded to comments Senator Ted Cruz made to Breitbart Texas that “Obama’s lawlessness” is responsible for the spike in illegal immigration. Earnest said that he “wouldn’t put a lot of stock in the ability of Republican members of Congress to divine the thoughts and insights of children in Central American countries.”
Sylvia Longmire, a Breitbart Texas contributing editor and border security expert, said, “It’s interesting that the White House spokesman so easily dismissed what he calls the ability of ‘Republican members of Congress to divine the thoughts and insights of children in Central American countries.’ Apparently, Democrats in the federal government aren’t doing a much better job of determining why so many children are coming here illegally from Central America or they would have been better prepared for the onslaught.”
She continued, “This is not a partisan problem; it is the failure of senior administration officials to conduct a thorough analysis of country conditions and migration trends that have been apparent for at least the past two years.”
Longmire added that the Obama Administration has failed to take any responsibility for the surge, which has been labeled a “humanitarian crisis.”
“It is also a failure of administration officials to acknowledge any of this is of their own doing, and they have grossly underestimated the power of word-of-mouth–regardless of its accuracy–in Latin America,” Longmire said.
Roll Call reported that children who are “abused, abandoned, or neglected are eligible for special immigrant juvenile status and can get green cards to live and work in the United States permanently if they are unable to be reunited with a parent.”
Given that most of the children currently flooding U.S. facilities are unaccompanied, the number of individuals receiving green cards could be substantial.
Before the situation is sorted out, the children will remain at various facilities and housing centers along the border. Breitbart Texas reported earlier this week that hundreds of illegal immigrant children were recently transported to a makeshift facility in Nogales, Arizona. Arizona officials are in dire need of medical supplies and living materials for the minors.
The AP reported that children at the new housing center in Nogales are sleeping on plastic cots while officials wait for 2,000 mattresses to arrive at the facility. Portable toilets and showers were also allegedly brought to warehouse, which has a capacity of 1,500. 800 children are expected to be living at the housing center by the end of this weekend, but the AP reported that 1,400 minors will ultimately be brought there.
At this point, it is unclear how U.S. officials and facilities will keep up with the increasing number of immigrants crossing the border illegally. Unless significant policy changes are made, the number of foreign nationals crossing the U.S. border illegally will likely continue to climb.
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.