[author: Jenna Baranko]
In a memorandum dated June 2nd President Obama declared the increasing wave of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S. – Mexican border an “urgent humanitarian situation” and directed federal officials to lead relief efforts in response to the influx of unaccompanied children. President Obama states in the memo that an interagency group of individuals will be established in order to provide humanitarian relief to the unaccompanied minors in the form of housing, care, medical treatment and transportation.
The flow of children coming into the U.S. without parents or guardians has been steadily increasing over the last few years, but has skyrocketed within the last year, according to White House officials. In the fiscal year 2013, there were 24,668 unaccompanied minors apprehended at the southwest border. The Department of Health and Human Services predict an estimated 60,000 unaccompanied minors could be caught arriving in the U.S. illegally this year.
Speculations are that the surge of unaccompanied children is driven primarily by growing violence in Central America, as well as the belief that unaccompanied children will be treated more favorably than other classes of illegal aliens.
To read the full memorandum from President Obama, click here.