Increase in Number of Children Arriving in U.S. Without Parents

The number of children fleeing poverty in other countries and entering the U.S. without parents is on the rise. When caught, they are arrested and detained. Sometimes they are sent back, sometimes they are released into the custody of relatives, foster homes or friends.

Children must not be treated as criminals.

Children entering illegally without parents "are usually fleeing something," often don't have relatives here and, in many cases, have endured trauma such as rape and being held for ransom, said Tricia Swartz, director of the National Center for Refugee and Immigrant Children in Washington, D.C.

Across-the-board deportations "would be literally sacrificing children's lives," she said. "Some of them are facing potential execution by gangs."

As for numbers,

Today, about 15.3 percent of migrants seeking asylum protection in the United States are under 18, up from 14.8 percent in 2004, federal records show.

The Department of Justice processes these kids in federal immigration courts. An example of the absurdity:

In Denver's court, a box of toys sits in the lobby. A recent memo encouraged judges to use booster chairs and child-friendly questioning at hearings.

< Undocumented Immigrant Saves Young Boy | Rudy's Misplaced Loyalty to Friends as His Achilles Heel >
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    U.S. is exporting gang members to (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by oculus on Sat Nov 24, 2007 at 12:38:25 AM EST
    Mexico and other countries.

    Some kids come to the U.S. w/o their parents because their parents are already her in the U.S. working.  

    After (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by tnthorpe on Sat Nov 24, 2007 at 02:34:16 AM EST
    reading the comments in the original Denver Post article, then seeing LW.c's hysterical rant above, wherein thousands of children morph into a 2-3 billion person global gang clamoring for immediate entry, I don't see how America can have an honest conversation about immigration. Surely changes need to happen, but the level of hyperventilation and sheer bloody mindedness prevents a serious and robust discussion.

    As part of immigration reform, a global health and education initiative needs to be implemented, aimed at providing sanitation, clean water, and school rooms to children across the world. It would cost billions less than the endless, futile GWOT and be much more effective. It would help mitigate some of the damage done by the World Bank and the IMF's intervention in local economies. Militarized borders and a primary focus on interdiction will do nothing to address the conditions causing people to look north for better life chances. LW.c's post above indirectly acknowledges the huge disparity, but only in order to offer an unironic, immodest proposal.

    Try thinking next time (1.00 / 0) (#4)
    by LonewackoDotCom on Sat Nov 24, 2007 at 02:14:23 PM EST
    It wouldn't be that difficult to reduce illegal immigration if we wanted to, and in that case potential illegal aliens would be forced to stay in their own countries. That would put pressure on those countries to reform. And, it would put those in the U.S. who want reform in those countries on a much stronger footing.

    As it is, those who think like you are enabling the current situation. You - and the rest - need to try your best to think everything through.


    Do follow your own advice (5.00 / 0) (#5)
    by tnthorpe on Sat Nov 24, 2007 at 02:49:39 PM EST
    You stop your hyperbolic rhetoric, and I'll stop objecting to it.

    Are you advocating for popular revolution across the hemisphere? Have you any idea how corrupt Mexican politics are? How brutal the ruling elites are? I am all for Subcomandante Marcos: I wonder if you would be?

    Are you for renegotiating NAFTA, etc.? Bottom line, if capital is permanently mobile, workers will be as well. Former CEO of GE, Jack Welch, famously said that his ideal factory would be on a barge that he could push to the cheapest place to work in terms of labor costs and laws, environmental regulations, etc. Posed against that is it any wonder people seek better life chances here? Since our country has implemented these treaties, not to mention shaping the draconian policies of the World Bank and the IMF, we do bear some responsibility.

    You can look across the democratic north, from Spain and France and Italy to here and Canada and see that simple interdiction isn't actually possible. We should be building bridges not walls.  If you and I can agree on that, then perhaps a real conversation is possible.


    Let them all in! (1.00 / 3) (#1)
    by LonewackoDotCom on Fri Nov 23, 2007 at 10:05:23 PM EST
    Along with TL, I propose letting in the two or three billion or so poor children around the world. As for those in trouble with gangs, let them in too. Sure, they're probably not really children at all and they'll probably get involved with gangs here too, but we don't have enough gangs in the U.S. already. Further, I think we should continue to give the ol' wink 'n' nod to massive illegal immigration, since that will encourage even more children to try to come here and will make the situation even worse. The last thing we should do is oppose illegal immigration in order to discourage making the situation worse for us and in order to encourage the sending countries to reform. Let's just see how bad it can get.

    You're right...It's awful out there.... (5.00 / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 06:17:30 AM EST
    Here I am early Sunday getting ready for my football game, and the noise from the undocumented immigrants working leafblowers on this Sunday morning (during a holiday weekend no less) is deafening.  I can't think of a worse situation...something must be done about this.  Talk about a menace...lol.

    Democratic solution to Social Security (none / 0) (#7)
    by diogenes on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 11:30:06 PM EST
    Let in children without parents, thus creating more young workers to support Social Security in 2030.  Simply brilliant.