Central American Kids Are Pouring into Texas, and Dallas, Even Faster Than Expected

Categories: Immigration

Bestia.jpg
Newscom
Many unaccompanied children brave the journey to the United States on freight trains known as "La Bestia", or "The Beast."
As the Division Director of Immigration and Legal Services for Catholic Charities of Dallas, Vanna Slaughter has long received email updates whenever young migrants arrive alone in the Dallas area. For some time, she says, she's received around 250 of these cases in a given month -- already a large increase from two or three years ago. Recently, though, she's watched that number climb even higher.

It's evidence of recent spike in unaccompanied children crossing the Mexican border into the United States, decried this week by President Obama as an "urgent humanitarian situation." He announced plans to create a multiagency task force to address the issue.

Prior to 2012, between 6,000 and 8,000 unaccompanied kids were caught crossing the border every year, according to estimates. But rampant gang violence in Central America has sent thousands more streaming toward the border in the years since. The Department of Health and Human Services expects the number of unaccompanied children apprehended at the border to soar as high as 60,000 in 2014.

Most come from Honduras and El Salvador, braving treacherous hikes and, often, a perilous ride atop a freight train known as The Beast, where migrants are sometimes killed or kidnapped by drug cartels. Many travel to reunite with one or both parents who have already come to the United States; others are hoping to connect with more distant relatives.

When they arrive at the border, they're typically detained and held at shelters until case workers can identify and connect with those family members. Nearly 1,000 of these children currently reside at Lackland Air Force Base in South Texas.

Many eventually arrive in Dallas, which has seen a corresponding surge in unaccompanied immigrant children in recent months. When a child arrives in the Dallas area, either claimed by a Dallas-based family member or foster parent while they await a deportation hearing, Slaughter and Catholic Charities are notified. They offer a legal orientation program and try to connect the children with lawyers.

"We make sure kids appear in immigration court and are given good care," says Slaughter. "We give them [relatives] legal orientation, what remedies might be available to them, let them know of their responsibilities and provide medical, health, and community resources."

The Human Rights Initiative of North Texas represents many of these children in court. Executive Director Bill Holston says his organization often works to earn these children Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) Status, which allows them to stay in the United States.

"If the child can show that they were abandoned or abused by one or both parents, they can get the visa," Holston says. Until recently, kids cases were assigned to one of America's toughest immigration judges, Dietrich Sims, who grants asylum less frequently than almost any judge in the country. He was removed from the kids' docket earlier this year, after complaints from lawyers and questions from the Dallas Observer and Dallas Morning News.

Obama's task force will aim to ease a bit of the burden on stressed border resources for the kids. The White House has asked Congress to add $1.4 billion to be directed toward the situation. The Departments of Homeland Security, State, Defense, and Health and Human Services are all collaborating to deal with the struggles of the increased number of unaccompanied children.

For now, though, Slaughter and advocates like her continue to work away behind the scenes for the rights of these children -- doing, in her small but far-reaching way, what she can to ensure their physical and emotional wellbeing.

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207 comments
Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

Late to the party - so after 100+ comments, what's the solution: let everyone in or stop them at the Mexico border?

bill.holston1
bill.holston1

There has been alot of discussion below about who immigrates. In fact there's a ton of mis-information about legal immigration. This helpful article summarizes the law and who lawfully immigrates to the US: 

http://www.vox.com/2014/5/27/5754162/the-changing-face-of-american-immigration-in-one-gif 


of note in the article:

For another thing, the current immigration system sets a firm cap on how many family visas each country can take each year. For the last several decades, that's meant that many more immigrants apply to enter the US on family visas than are allowed to — but only from four countries: Mexico, China, the Philippines, and India.


The kids described in this article are coming from very dangerous places, like Honduras. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

Congrats Emily, 2 days on the job and you got your first 100+ comment blog!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@bvckvs


Jared  Loughner and James Holmes were "law abiding gun owners" ...


... right up to the moment they pulled the trigger.



mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@TheRuddSki 

Guatemala:

Sixty-two percent of the children did not mention serious harm as a reason for leaving. Eighty-four percent of the children shared hopes for family reunification, better opportunities for work or study, or helping their families as a reason for coming to the U.S.

Honduras:

Forty-three percent of the Honduran children did not mention serious harm as a reason for leaving. Twenty-one percent of the children discussed situations of deprivation. Similar to the children from Guatemala, 80% of the Honduran children shared their hopes for family reunification, better opportunities to work or study, or to help their families as a reason for leaving, but very few gave one of these as the only reason.

"better opportunities for work or study". yes, the very desires we want of immigrants.

interesting, no mention of a desire to enter the US for access to the "welfare state" as many postulate...

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@sotiredofitall

what's the solution: let everyone in or stop them at the Mexico border?

Follow established law regardless of color, national origin, or sexuality.

Or change the law.

Or have our officials violate oath of office.

The present administration has chosen option #3.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@Sotiredofitall 

every poster on this thread are likely here due to an ancestor who, just like these kids, braved the journey to start a new life and be in the US.

embrace them and say, in the words of Spock, "vida llarga y prospera"

roo_ster
roo_ster

@Sotiredofitall 

Duplicate the Israeli-Gaza fence along our border and patrol with National Guardsmen and Reserve troops meeting their service obligations under hte authority of local sheriffs and such.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@sotiredofitall

We've posted the addresses of those who support illegal immigration to the various Latin-American sources for those headed north, with the message:

Puedes vivir conmigo, y voy a pagar sus facturas!

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@bill.holston1

In the 80's, California was full of illegals from El Salvador, because it was... dangerous.

I was going to buy property in Costa Rica, but not now, because Hondurans are making the place... dangerous.

Mexico is... dangerous.

Russia is... dangerous. Africa is dangerous.

Texas, full of gun nuts, is... dangerous.

So, let's open the borders.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin 

it takes a village...;)

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@mavdog

I applaud immigration, our economy depends on it.

That's why we allow immigration, we need it.

But laws against illegal immigration exist for a reason. If you feel Latinos should be exempted, then lobby your government.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@roo_ster "Duplicate the Israeli-Gaza fence ..."


Because Israel is so peaceful ... lol!


And how far up the COASTLINES of Texas and California are you going to build that wall, eh numbnuts?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@TheRuddSki "I was going to buy property in Costa Rica, but not now, ..."


Good, the Ticos don't need any more Gringo trash wrecking the place.





mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@TheRuddSki 

I don't focus on if people are latino, or asian, or african, or european.

they could be from anywhere, we should welcome them.

roo_ster
roo_ster

@another-observist @roo_ster 

Given relative Israeli/US populations and GDP, an Israeli-style fortification stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean along our southern border would be more easily borne than the Israeli Gaza/West Bank fortifications by Israeli taxpayers.


And if we implement a policy of enforcement and attrition versus the illegal infiltrators, we would come out ahead in the game WRT overall tax expenditures.  It is not cheap to educate, feed, and care for anchor babies, illegals, and the like.

roo_ster
roo_ster

@DonkeyHotay @roo_ster 

I hereby apologize to stupid people for calling you stupid a while back.

Because even a stupid person understands that coastlines imply bodies of water...which are a significant barrier to destitute illiterate peasants.  Also that detecting and intercepting watercraft on the open sea is an easier proposition than in broken terrain.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay

Did you know that wherever they clamp down on the labor black market, wages UP?

But those are Americans, often Latino-Americans, and the lefties fucking hate Americans.

dsjohnson64
dsjohnson64

@mavdog @TheRuddSki  Today there are seven billion people in the world (with only 320 million currently in the United States).  So exactly how many of the seven billion do you want to welcome?


Meanwhile, let's be honest with the 320 million already here as to what the consequences of unchecked immigration will be.


Yes, the top 1% will become even wealthier as income inequality increases exponentially.  But what a disaster for the other 99% (and a disaster that will include all races and ethnicities).

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@mavdog

I agree, as long as they follow the first law, like the others.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@roo_ster <== too stupid to know that nearly 50% of "illegal aliens" did NOT sneak across the border.



mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@TheRuddSki 

there is a simple, easy solution to the issue of the "labor black market".

get rid of the "labor black market". the reason it exists is these workers are prevented from being in the regular market. if they were in the normal market there wouldn't be a problem.

but these people who are keeping them out of the normal market, who yell and scream about immigration reform, "obeying the law" and the "amnesty" they see in it,  fucking hate these workers, these people.....

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@TheRuddSki "Did you know that wherever they clamp down on the labor black market, wages [sic] UP?"


How about grammar among the bigots, which way does it go?


So you support raising the minimum wage ... thereby eliminating the temptation for Employers to hire from the "black market", since more card-carrying "Americans" would be willing to apply for, and perform, those jobs, eh?










roo_ster
roo_ster

@DonkeyHotay @roo_ster 

Nah, I recall back in 1986 that part of Teddy Kennedy's support  for that amnesty was because there were so many Irish illegal aliens in the USA, lots clustered about Boston.  Then there are visa overstayers and suchlike.


But illegals from south of the border are the largest proportion.  Gotta start somewhere and the largest population of illegals is a good place to start.


Some of us have been paying attention and not eating paint chips these last few decades, DH.  But keep on eating those chips.  They aren't going to disappear themselves from your parents' window sills.  Just stop when you start tasting wood.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@mavdog

Question: If you reward behavior that is illegal, injurious and detrimental to society, do you get more of this behavior, or less?

Have you ever worked in the construction industry? Do you know that flooding the labor market with cheap, illegal labor tajes food from the children of hard-working people who came to America legally - many of them Latinos?

The solution of rewarding illegals will bring more illegals. Why do you think kids are flooding the border? Could Obama's rewards have anything to do with it?0

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay

Donkey found a tpyo!!

The wage was raised by market force, not government edict.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@TheRuddSki  " If you reward behavior that is illegal, injurious and detrimental to society, do you get more of this behavior, or less?"


Ask the Wall Street Bankers ...

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@TheRuddSki 

Question: If you reward behavior that is illegal, injurious and detrimental to society, do you get more of this behavior, or less?

the addition of productive, contributing workforce population to a society is anything but "injurious and detrimental".

in fact the addition of productive workers to society contributes to the economy and the betterment of society.

why are taking a position that is detrimental to the health and well being of our country? why do you and those who advocate such as you do wish to harm our economy and our nation?

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay

Ask Obama, who was and is heavily supported by Wall Street bankers, why no-one went to jail.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@mavdog

There are ways to hire legal workers, hiring on the black market is a great way to undercut your legal competition's bids, forcing them to either close shop with the resulting loss of jobs, or fire everyone and take the illegal route, or cut everyone's wages by about half.

While, incidentally, not paying any taxes.

So, yes, bucking the system is quite injurious, and rewarding those that do will get you lots more of the same.

I seriously doubt you have direct experience in any of what I'm talking about. I do, I used to hire illegals by the truckload. Why?

Nowadays, that might get me a 10K fine per worker, depending, so I wouldn't do it, I'd have to hire a legal worker at a decent wage, and he'd have to pay taxes.

Your concern is for foreign nationals whose market force hurts legals, my concern is for Americans.

IOW, I have the same view as Cesar Chavez, and every single one of the legal immigrants I know

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@TheRuddSki


Government DEREGULATION -- FREE MARKET -- is the wail and cry of the avaricious Rethuglycans.


Remember, Ruddy, the biggest Fraud and Rape of the U$ Economy -- and the Epic Financial CRASH -- occurred during the 8+ years the Criminal Bu$h Junta was pillaging the U$A.



mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@TheRuddSki 

Ask Obama, who was and is heavily supported by Wall Street bankers, why no-one went to jail.

You mean the Obama Administration who have collected about $35 Billion in fines from the banks for their actions in the CMBS fiasco? and the approx. $18 Billion more in fines from BNP and JPM?

funny thing about why "no-one went to jail", to make that happen there has to be a specific violation of the law that needs to be proven against an individual. Can you point to a specific law and a specific action by an individual?

they couldn't either....blame the laws and swiss cheese regulations (and Phil Gramm).

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@TheRuddSki 

nice job of ignoring the point: if the market did not label able, willing workers "illegals" and deny them participation in the normal market, there wouldn't be a "black market for labor".

there would only be a single market, with workforce protection for every worker.

see how easy that is? the problem you focus on is gone. poof!

and our economy is stronger because of it.

don't give me that crap "my concern is for Americans", that's BS. If you had "concern" you would advocate the idea all people seeking to contribute their abilities to our economy should be welcome and included.

you don't.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@TheRuddSki "There are ways to hire legal workers, hiring on the black market is a great way to undercut your legal competition's bids, forcing them to either close shop with the resulting loss of jobs, or fire everyone and take the illegal route, or cut everyone's wages by about half.

While, incidentally, not paying any taxes."


So the problem is THE EMPLOYERS -- Greedy Amoral  Criminal AMERICAN Employers.


Noted.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay

35 Billion is nothing.

18 billion is even less, a slap on the wrist.

Which is fine, I don't want my stocks fucked with.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@mavdog

You don't get it, probably purposefully.

If you reward behavior that harms law-abiding Americans, you're inviting more of the same. If there is a labor shortage, increase immigration quotas for those workers.

It's that simple, amigo. It's what every legal immigrant, and the labor Icon Chavez will tell you.

Your world of theory vs actual experience is kind of laughable.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay

That's why you see those E-Verify stickers all over now. To stop the practice.

Adios, amigo!

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@TheRuddSki 

You don't get it, probably purposefully.

that's incredibly ironic, and a good laugh, when you continue to ignore the point: get rid of the "labor black market" and there is no "labor black market".

all workers have workplace protection, all workers get the legal protection on wages, all workers are in the system for SS.

but if that happens you wouldn't have the chance to scream and rail about the "illegals", would you?

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@mavdog

Right, get rid of the black marketeers through deportation and attrition due to increased workplace vigilance and punishment, and all the legal workers will benefit.

Those evicted are perfectly welcome to apply once they are back home.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@TheRuddSki "Right, get rid of the black marketeers through ..."


Arrest, Prosecution and Imprisonment of the Greedy Criminal American Employers! 


It's a lot easier -- and more effective -- to Arrest, Prosecute and Jail a few thousand American Employers than it is to vainly try and deport MILLIONS of immigrants.


Severe Prison Sentences and Massive Fines on just a few HUNDRED high-profile American EMPLOYER criminals will "Send a Message" to the rest, and cost the government and taxpayers HUNDREDS of MILLIONS LESS than foolishly attempting to round up millions of individuals.


RAISING the Minimum Wage will also help, thereby luring lazy unemployed American droids back into those jobs they weren't willing to perform for $7 / hr.



TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay

Deport millions? No prob. Remember when we were in the worst of the recession, the flow went in reverse.

No job, no money, time to go home.

Those who remain get tossed as we come across them. After a while, the border- jumpers will realize there's no point in coming here illegally.

I agree with you about hitting those who hire illegals, now that I'm no longer doing it.

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