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Thousands of Illegal Minors Caught At Border Each Month; Most Released Into U.S., Report Shows

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A new analysis from the Center for Immigration Studies finds that more than 2,000 illegal immigrant minors have been apprehended each month since the beginning of this fiscal year in October — the second highest level of illegal minor arrests, behind last year’s record breaking border surge.

According to the report, authored by CIS expert Jessica Vaughan, nearly 90 percent of the illegal immigrant minors ICE has taken into custody were from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

“ICE has taken custody of illegal alien juveniles from 27 different countries this year. Nearly 90 percent were from four Central American countries (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua, in that order); half were from Guatemala alone,” Vaughan wrote in her report. “The rest were from Armenia, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Ghana, Haiti, India, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Peru, Romania, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam.”

One third of the apprehended illegal minor immigrants said they were 17 and 70 percent were male, the report noted.

“These statistics show that the surge of illegal arrivals from Central America was never really over,” Vaughan said in a statement Wednesday.

“The incentives for people to have their children smuggled into the United States illegally have not changed – they know that under Obama administration policies they will be allowed to stay without consequences,” she added. “American communities should brace themselves to accommodate more new arrivals.”

Vaughan’s report indicates that ICE has returned fewer than 200 minors each month, 41 percent of those were sent back to Mexico.

“The majority of illegal alien juveniles taken into ICE custody are ultimately released to family members in the United States, and only a small number are ever repatriated,” she notes. “About 90 percent of the recent Central American arrivals who had hearings scheduled last summer and fall failed to appear at their immigration hearings and have melted into the larger illegal alien population.”

According to to DHS statistics obtained by Vaughan, about 99 percent of the illegal immigrant minors taken into ICE custody this year were first apprehended by Border Patrol.

The latest government figures show Border Patrol apprehending more than 12,500 illegal immigrant minors and more than 11,100 family units at the southern border this fiscal year to date.


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