Déjà Vu: Unaccompanied Minor Crisis Resurges

The Obama administration claimed it had solved the unaccompanied minor crisis that surged in 2014 by falsely proclaiming that the illegal entrants would be sent back home and setting up a program to allow the legal arrival of minors from Central Americans who had parents illegally residing in the United States. This waiver program is like the DACA amnesty for persons brought illegally to the United States as youth – except this expansion includes those minors still living in Central America.

But a new surge of unaccompanied minors and families with children has again emerged. According to December 9 Washington Times report, “Emergency measures imposed as border surge surprises, overwhelms immigration officials,” apprehension of minors in October and November was more than double the level a year earlier. And, it was 73 percent higher for families. The WT says, “Two months into the new fiscal year, the number of unaccompanied minors jumping the border and getting caught is at an all-time high.

Data for chart here: 2011 – 8000, 2012 – 13625, 2013 – 24668, 2014 – 57496.

Data for chart here: 2011 – 8000, 2012 – 13625, 2013 – 24668, 2014 – 57496.

Statements by the arriving illegal aliens asserting that they came – and often turned themselves in to the Border Patrol – to get “permisos” (permits) to stay in the U.S. make clear that the administration’s policy of reuniting these new illegal aliens with their family members residing illegally in the U.S. has been a powerful “pull” factor that provoked this surge. It is obvious from the new data that the false statements by the administration about speedy deportation of the new illegal arrivals is seen by them as posturing rather than any real commitment to deal with the problem.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


  1. avatar

    Why should anyone believe promises made by any politician, from either party, about controlling illegal immigration. Everyone knows the vast majority of Democrats support illegal immigration and make no attempt to disguise that fact while the Republican Party would have us believe they oppose it, ask for our opinions on the issue through their ridiculous surveys then do nothing, even when we have a Republican president and a Congress controlled by the Republicans. After all, it was George Bush who signed the Immigration Act of 1965 that gave birth to mass immigration. Under that act legal immigration increased from 530,000 to 700,000 and today it stands at roughly 1,000,000, and illegal immigration has soared to hundreds of thousands per year. We must demand proof of their sincerity through actions only.

  2. avatar
    Jim in Virginia on

    The trafficking law this administration claims prevents them from sending them back home, doesn’t apply to these invaders. They are not being “trafficked”. These people are hiring people to bring them to the border. Everyone of this so call minors and families should be put on a plane and sent back to their country of origin. But I fear, the transformation to turn this country into a third world cesspool is all but complete.

  3. avatar

    Just in time for the upcoming 2016 elections, the demented Dems so desperately want to fraudulently steal.