Number of children apprehended at the border rises

Once again there is an increase in the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the southern border of the United States and being apprehended while trying to enter the country illegally.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has released its latest statisticsand these show that 4,240 unaccompanied undocumented immigrant children were arrested at the Mexican border in March of this year - an increase of 1,141, equivalent to 27%, compared to the previous month.

Minors arrested at the border
The flow of minors crossing the border has increased again. This graph shows the number of minors apprehended at the border with Mexico from October 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016. It includes statistics from previous fiscal years. (CPB chart.)

According to the report, the minors come mainly from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. But the largest number of detained minors are Salvadoran.

But the most notable increase over the past two years was seen at the end of 2015, when 5,608 juveniles were arrested in November and 6,765 in December - an increase of more than double compared to the same dates in 2014.

Juvenile detainees-countries
Countries of origin of minors apprehended at the border (CBP chart).

A large number of these minors are applying for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) upon arrival in the United States. After obtaining SIJS, the minors apply for permanent residence under the EB-4 category which is for certain special immigrants.

The federal government has approved them to the extent that they have been able to verify the legitimacy of the petitions.

Due to high demand, EB-4 immigrant visas have already sold out for children with SIJS from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, possibly for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends September 30, 2016.