Abandonment Issues Haunt Children at the Border
While questions concerning the whereabouts of parents of 545 unaccompanied migrant children grabbed headlines last month, the rescue of a dozen minors abandoned at the border went virtually unnoticed.
U.S. Border Patrol agents near Hidalgo, Texas, located the children, including a 7-month-old traveling with his teenage brother, on the night of Oct. 24. The children were discovered when officers encountered a group of illegal aliens shortly after a human smuggler rafted them across the Rio Grande. A majority of the group were unaccompanied minors.
Officers interviewed a13-year-old Honduran national, who was carrying the infant, and determined thattheir mother abandoned them three weeks prior to their entry into the UnitedStates.
The Texas episode highlightsthe ongoing problems created by parents who hand their children over to coyotesto get youngsters across the border.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) apprehended 30,557 unaccompanied minors (ages 0-17) at the southern border during Fiscal Year 2020. Though that’s roughly half of last year’s volume, the number of unaccompanied Mexican minors increased to 14,359, the highest since 2014.
“Even with the spread of theCOVID-19 virus, human smugglers continue to try these brazen attempts with zeroregard for the lives they endanger,” CBP stated. The agency could have includedthe absentee parents in its indictment.
Although the media played up a lawsuit claiming that 545 parents of children separated from them at the border could not be located, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) revealed a fresh set of numbers and facts.
“Out of the parents of 485children whom plaintiffs’ counsel has been able to contact, they’ve yet toidentify a single family that wants their child reunited with them in theircountry of origin,” DHS said.
FAIR suggested that the parents willingly and strategically separated from their children. The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) offered two motivations:
1. To have their childrenlive in the relative comfort, safety and affluence of the United States.
2. The possibility that, iftheir children are allowed to remain here, those parents will be able to jointhem.
And here’s one crucialunanswered question: How many of the separated parents have been deported? “Thecloser that number gets to zero, the likelier it is that they don’t want to belocated — by DHS, [Health and Human Services], or anyone else. Because, if theyare, they run the risk of being removed,” CIS observed.
Even one separated or abandoned child is one too many. To report responsibly on this troublesome issue, America’s media must dig deeper, and not lose sight of the fact that the problems begin beyond America’s borders.