Communities Nationwide Struggle to Absorb Illegal Alien Minors

illegal-childThe massive influx of illegal alien minors across the Southern Border is now beginning to strain communities nationwide as the federal government attempts to settle them within the U.S. instead of immediately sending them home.

The number of illegal alien minors apprehended at the border is growing exponentially. In fact, the number apprehended in 2014 to-date has more than doubled since 2012, when President Obama announced his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.1 Now, tens of thousands of minors from Central America are crossing illegally into the U.S. in the hope that they will be allowed to stay, even if they are not technically eligible for DACA. The numbers of minors pouring in from Central America has grown so dramatically that between 2009 and 2014, the proportion of minors from Central America apprehended at the southern border has risen from 17% to 76% of the total apprehended.

In addition to DACA, the government’s process for handling illegal alien minors from Central America provides another incentive for these minors illegally cross the border. Under federal law2, the government must put alien minors from non-contiguous countries, such as El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, into formal removal proceedings3 instead of immediately transporting them back over the border, as the law permits for Mexican minors. This means the government issues the alien child a piece of paper telling him to appear in court and transports him, generally within 72 hours, to the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Refugee Resettlement (HHS ORR).

HHS ORR then arranges to house the alien minors either in foster care or in one of its shelters, which, depending on the circumstances, may be anywhere in the country. According to HHS ORR, the majority of the minors are cared for through a network of state-licensed, federally -funded care providers that provide education, mental health and medical services, case management, and recreation. These providers also facilitate the release of these alien minors to family members — whether or not the family members are illegally present in the country.

However, with the number of illegal alien minors surging, ORR is now scrambling to find shelters. Last, week, federal officials canceled plans to relocate several hundred illegal alien minors in Lawrenceville, Virginia, a small farming community with 1,500 residents. Initially, ORR planned to settle the illegal aliens in a closed down community college, but kept local leaders in the dark. In fact, local officials only learned of the news a few days before the minors were scheduled to arrive. When they demanded a public meeting on the issue, half a dozen ORR officials heard loud objections from the more than 1,000 residents in attendance. The residents raised concerns about security, disease, impact on overburdened emergency services and tax dollars going to the illegal alien minors instead of local families living in poverty.

Federal officials also canceled plans to house a stunning 9,500 illegal alien minors in Baltimore, Maryland. HHS ORR had hoped to use a vacant warehouse once used by the Social Security Administration. However, influential lawmakers, including Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake and U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) opposed the plan, saying the warehouse was not suitable for housing the minors.

Federal officials also canceled plans to house thousands of illegal alien minors to the small town of Olympia Fields in Illinois. But there, too, federal officials are facing a backlash. Over the weekend, Congressman Randy Hultgren (R-IL) called on the government to quickly return the illegal aliens, not make matters worse for the children by creating orphanages even farther away from their homes. “They should be returned to their home countries quickly and with human dignity, not left to languish in legal limbo,” he told NBC Chicago.

In fact, the need to house illegal alien minors has become so dire, HHS ORR is housing them at military bases. Two years ago, when the numbers first began to spike, the Department of Defense (DOD) opened Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas to house about 200 illegal alien minors.  At that time, federal officials promised use of the base was only a temporary measure and that it would only be open for 60 days. Now Lackland has once again re-opened its doors to illegal alien minors and is at capacity, housing about 1,200 minors. In addition, the military has opened Naval Base Ventura County near Los Angeles to host about 600 illegal alien minors. But at a combined capacity of less than 2,000 beds and a projected surge of 90,000 illegal alien minors crossing the border this year alone, using military bases to house these minors is having only a small impact.

Meanwhile, communities that are accepting the illegal alien minors are doing so at a cost. Last week, the Miami-Dade School Board publicly warned that an influx of needy children could create a financial crisis.  School board members agreed to request more money from the federal government to handle the sudden spike of foreign-born children. “We may be on the verge of a potential crisis,” said School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said. Educating these students, he said, costs on average about $2,000 more per child than what the state allocates in funding, hitting local taxpayers. School Board Chairwoman Perla Tabares Hantman added, “As a public school system, the reality is there’s a financial cost to educating newly arrived students which goes above and beyond the typical [state]funding provided. It is only fair that the taxpayers of Miami-Dade County aren’t unduly burdened as a result of federal immigration policies.”

Rather than getting control of the situation, the federal government is already projecting that the crisis surrounding illegal alien minors will grow. This year, Congress has appropriated about $2 billion of taxpayer dollars — most of which will go to HHS — to settle these illegal alien minors inside of the U.S. HHS projects even more money will be needed in 2015. Meanwhile, the government is pulling Border Patrol and ICE agents off of their normal duties to process these aliens near the border.

This article was originally published in the Legislative Update from June 25, 2014

Calculations based on Customs and Border Patrol statistics, June 15, 2014
2 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, P. Law. 110-457, Sec. 235, Dec. 23, 2008
Unaccompanied Alien Children: Overview, p. 5, June 13, 2014

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. Pingback: Congress Must Demand Policy Changes Before Releasing Border Funds to Obama

  2. avatar

    These illegal alien are adding on to the problem we are having with illegal aliens we already have in America, surely Obama well find some kind of excuses to keep them here, and will swept all of their nonsense under the carpet! and they were told America willnotdeportthem at all! that illegal alien children will be allow to go to school in America, they were told they can get money, free medical, food stamps from our American government freebies, they will get low housing, sec. 8 programs. They were told that our American system is strongly lenient an have strong compassion for illegal children! they were told to get to America and get on the bandwagon to Obama and congress stupid amnesty! Obama will continue to spend billions of dollars on more illegal aliens regardless!
    Illegal aliens have no respect for American citizens, that is because our own politicians have no respect for their own Americans! All illegal aliens including their children should be deported, all laws and the military should wound them up and send them back across the borders! America needs some strong limitations on illegal alien crossing our borders! those illegal aliens that are here in our jobs working should be taken out of our jobs, and all of their jobs should be replace by millions of jobless Americans!!

  3. avatar

    the parents of these minor illegal alien border crossers have committed crimes of children abandonment, punishable with hefty fines, and imprisonments in the USA. obama is proudly condoning the criminal actions of the parents of the minor illegal alien border crossers, together with his bleeding heart socialist supporters are too disgusting, stomach vomitus sickening the citizens. obama’s refusal to deport ASAP these minor illegal aliens back to their parents are unlawful, and impeachable acts. how can obama get away with all his unlawful actions against america, and its citizens. obama have not learned as POTUS, he is working for the american people, not for the illegal aliens. american workers are fired every seconds for refusing, and for not doing the paid jobs they were supposed to complete. so, why is obama bylaw is the only one who can deport these minor illegal alien border crossers not impeach?. obama’s arrogance is contemptible, him saying in your face, screw you all americans, and too blunt/proud to stick all his lawlessness to all your throats, for you all to choke, to lose all of your breath in hopelessness/die. the fact is, obama has not done his primary immigration job of deporting minor illegal aliens/adult illegal aliens, in order to protect the USA’s sovereignty and the citizens to live in order of the law. obama is the president of chaos, as the masterminds of all hell broken loose in border states, texas and az, are now full blown unstable, both financially and socially with the minor illegal alien border crossers invasions from mexico/central america. yet, obama have the nerve to ignore, look the other way, not speaking to americans about the biggest immigration blunder of his incompetency as POTUS, if he has any integrity left in his bones, it looks like he was born without integrity, to make all the right on all the wrong decisions, and all the wrong things he’s done and kept on doing, as the destroyer of america/americans. the lies of obama, he deported more illegal aliens are nothing but all lies. obama has mastered the art of lying by doctoring, cooking the immigration books with his outright fudging the numbers of deportees, sadly quite a number of people believed obama’s lies. thus, all the bad outcomes of obama’s actions and policies, the greater number of people must blame only themselves, reelecting obama did grant him the power to dupe all that gave their trust to him, together with the un-american socialist leaning democrat supporters of obama. rationale americans believed, if america is to survive, these politician commies causing cancer to america must be expelled by well informed voters.

  4. avatar

    There is a tent city in Maricopa County AZ for the lawbreakers in Sheriff Arpaio’s county. If it’s good enough to house our American citizens who commit crimes, why is it too harsh for illegal immigrants who committed the crime of crossing the border of a sovereign nation. No we have to find them “suitable housing”. Find Americans suitable housing while you’re at it.

  5. avatar

    There is a story in called “SEN. SESSIONS PINS BORDER SURGE ON OBAMA, REP. ISSA PUSHS FOR DACA TERMINATION”. In the story it says: “Recently, Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley questioned 230 illegal immigrants about why they came and 95% said they believed they would be allowed to stay and take advantage of the ‘new’ U.S. ‘law’ that grants a ‘free pass’ or ‘permiso’ being issued by the U.S. government to adults traveling with minors and to unaccompanied children. A high percentage of the subjects interviewed stated their family members in the U.S. urged them to travel immediately, because the United States government was only issuing immigration ‘permisos’ until the end of June 2014.” (Sounds to me like their parents are likely here illegally, so they hired someone to do it for them, and put their own children’s lives at risk! If the parents are here illegally, then why doesn’t our Government send the parents home with their kids, instead rewarding them all with our taxpayer money and bankrupting the rest of us? Later in the story it says, “On January 29, 2014 the federal government posted an advertisement seeking bids for a vendor to contract to handle 65,000 ‘Unaccompanied Alien Children’ crossing the southern border.” (So obviously Obama knew! The questions is….Is your State going to go bankrupt from the costs of keeping the illegal aliens there, or are they going to block it like Virginia, Illinois, and Maryland did? Check out the NumbersUSA story and then call your elected officials on how they plan to block this?)

    • avatar

      They should be sent home. In the meantime, put up some of sheriff Arpaio’s tent city @ 1600 Pennsylvania ave. let Obama take care of them

  6. avatar

    It’s pretty obvious that this is Obama’s revenge for not going along with his long attempt to grant amnesty to some 11 million illegals that are already here. He has rolled out the welcome mat with no consequence for crossing our borders illegally. We need to put the National Guard on our border until we can complete the double fence. Nothing else is going to deter more millions from crossing. Mexico looks the other way while graft and corruption allows the cartel to run amok.

  7. avatar

    This is pure folly and an absolutely coordinated effort that our government HAD to be aware of. The ONLY silver lining is that our derelict media is now FORCED to report this travesty. Effectively, now that the word is out, immigration reform is DEAD!!
    Of course, the greedy Chamber of Commerce, Zucherburg, Gates, et al., will not rest until they get their cheap foreign slaves continuously coming, so our fight continues,.

  8. avatar

    This is disgustingly unacceptable, send these kids back to their own country and then arrest obummer for not upholding his oaths of office, he is a f(*&^^$%%#% criminal and a tyrant, he is creating this mess to throw voters off the mark come November !!!!


  9. avatar

    This is an invasion, not an immigration problem. The children are a front to the rest of the problems. They expect people to be sympathetic to the child crisis and feel the need to help them. But by overloading the border with children the border cannot be secured from others coming across. Once again illegals are being used to mask what is taking place behind the scenes.

    They are also using these children to overload the welfare system. They haven’t been able to crash the welfare programs with high unemployment and other means, so they have to bring in more people from outside the country to make sure the system crashes. Once it crashes millions will be without resources, and then the government can step in to “save” the people. Read history. When it happens our enemies will already be in our country.

    • avatar

      what is it with those liberals? Do they have no concern for “their” country? We understand their efforts that they want to import supporters/voters for their socialist party, the democrats, but at what cost… Allowing the country to be flooded with illegals, children and whatever, is going to destroy the country that we have enjoyed during our lifetime. This “immigration reform” they are pushing actually means Amnesty for law-breakers. What’s next, amnesty for murders and bank robbers? These liberals are willing to destroy America in their quest for absolute power. Any “republican” politician that does not fight the socialist movement is a traitor to the voters supporting him/her and must be removed from office.

  10. avatar

    These children are not OURS, we are not responsible for them. Put up a tent city to house them near the border while they’re processed to send back where they came from. Feed and clothe them in the meantime. There’s NO NEED to educate them in the interim.

    • avatar

      Sending them all back to their own country asap is the only program that will stop the invasion. Once those people in Central America realize that their efforts to come to America will not work with their illegal attempt, they will quit.

  11. avatar
    anotherfedupcitizen on

    Obama & Democrats know quite well that we citizens cannot afford this, WE ARE UNEMPLOYED!!

    They are doing this on purpose, in cahoots with foreign leaders so those countries do not have to reform and take care of their own! These foreign leaders should be ashamed of abusing U.S. citizens, just to keep from taking care of their responsibilities!

    The Democrats need to be run out on a rail, for forcing citizens to not only lose jobs, but to keep taxing us as though we have no responsibilities of our own to take care of!

    Between illegals, millions made legal each year plus all the refugees he is bringing in….if things do not change our kids have no future in OUR OWN COUNTRY.


  12. avatar
    TexasRedneck on

    This is one of the reasons for the government to be trying the land grabs throughout the country. They need the land to build housing for the increased influx of illegals into MY state and country! Send them away please!!

  13. avatar
    Patricia Funk on

    Stop sending them all over our country and send them back to where they came from. This is a strain on our economy we do not need. We have American children living on the streets without homes and food, why are we trying to support illegals?? This is totally wrong!

    • avatar

      No ****! These kids parents are as bad as terrorists using children as human shields which in this case they are using them to get a foot in the door and move to the United States! Send them back home with a bill for any costs we incurred!

    • avatar

      Step 1. Ship them to Federal sites around the country.
      Step 2. Ease them out the front gate with a map to the local County welfare office.
      Step 3. Send the bill for welfare, healthcare and education to local property owners.
      Step 4. Get ready for the next wave which will be 4 times higher.

    • avatar

      Brenda you are what I call an APE……………BUsh, Clinton etc….did the same with executive orders…..even more so than Obama……

  14. avatar
    Kurt thialfad on

    Is this some sort of a conspiracy? I mean it all so coordinated. And who is pulling the strings? Certainly a 16 year old may be able to travel alone this great distance, but not a 7 year old. A 7 year old would have ro be accompanied, and then released at the border. Many woul not make it and die.

    • avatar

      It was planned an organized. In January of this year the DHS sent out an employment request for escort(s) to handle a tremendous flow of children (up to 65,000 – how coincidental can that be? It describe every detail of the job of caring for the children, traveling with them, helping to process them and on and on. A very professional presentation.
      It had a couple of contacts on it…..So it should not be so difficult to trace. Who initiated it? Director Jeh Johnson of Homeland Security said he was not aware of it. It seems like it was instigated between the time Janet Napolitano the former DHS director left and Jeh Johnson came in. Director Johnson seems to be very forthright and the Representatives of Congress, who are grilling him, highly praise him and thank him for his service.
      This look like a very organized network and it looks as if it was organized secretly by some of those in the Administration. I t could have been pushed along by some pro-amnesty Senators, Chamber of Commerce? –
      Who knows what – when? Write, text and tweet your representatives and ask them to research. Also, let them know you are not the least bit interested in the Senate Bush-Gang of 8 Bill. A 4 to 5 page bill based on our present Immigration Laws will do fine (if you are so inclined.

  15. avatar

    If Al-Qaeda already has a team planted in Mexico, this would be an ideal time for them to make a move to cross the border while the Border Patrol is distracted with this flood of illegal children. Let’s hope this isn’t the case.

    • avatar
      anotherfedupcitizen on

      Obama and Democrats do not care! They care not for citizen’s lives, they want to make another class of servants for low wages, and sit back to watch as citizens lose everything they have worked for!

    • avatar

      SecBorders so far they came legally and most attempts in the US have been by our own people……..

    • avatar

      An excellent observation. One more excellent reason, it opens the door for terrorists to slip in.

  16. avatar
    Concerned Citizen on

    Add child trafficking to the things our Federal government is willing to do to further mass immigration. I called my Congressman to complain about the Congressional funding, which is irresponsible public policy. So the taxpayer is going to pay for child trafficking now and the country will house kids like cattle, far from their parents, and try to assimilate and educate them, too? So child abandonment, once a crime in this country, is now a-ok?

    Responsible, adult leadership is needed for this human crisis and that is in very short supply with this generation of leaders.

  17. avatar

    Funny that Miami-Dade County officials are complaining about the costs. They have no problem with the thousands upon thousands of Cubans who arrive every year, including the many who come here on visas to “visit” and then just stay.

  18. avatar
    arnlof sweigeir on

    I speak my mind out……The GOP is at fault….. For spreading the propaganda of amnesty all over the country and world to make the president and democrats look bad
    ….now eat it!!!!

    • avatar


    • avatar

      SWE and how and why do they have these jobs….? the illegals? NO…….the foreigners? NO….you are so dumb for an engineer…..the jobs were outsourced by the CORP and globalization……….you need to be reborn….buddy….