Small children, weeping mothers, desperate toddlers fleeing gunfights in the streets – this is the dramatic, gut-wrenching picture that’s been painted by the Obama administration for the past three years to describe the turmoil raging in Central America, driving hundreds of thousands of asylum-seekers to cross into the United States illegally only to be swept up in the arms of our caring, compassionate government.
Too bad the data paints a different picture.
According to recently released information published by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a full 68 percent – more than two-thirds – of unaccompanied minors who crossed into the United States without a parent in FY2016 claimed to be between the ages of 15 and 17. Only about a third were under the age of 15, and fewer than one in five were 12 years old or younger.
Of the total number of unaccompanied kids who crossed the border last year, more than 30 percent claimed to be 17 years of age.
This data matches the historical trend from the last several years, showing the vast majority of unaccompanied children crossing into the United States unlawfully are older teenagers – or, at least, those who claim to be. With no documentation to verify their age, it’d be next to effortless for a 20-year-old alien to claim to be a minor in order to get a slice of Obama’s amnesty pie. It’s a problem border agents have frequently warned about since illegal immigration caught the nation’s eye back in 2014, when a massive wave of unaccompanied children began crossing into the United States in droves.
Border agents have also reported finding known gang tattoos on a number of illegal aliens who claim to be teenagers. Still, agents are forced by regulation to process them as children and release them to ORR, who then ships them to communities across the United States.
Broken down by country, ORR reported that 95 percent of all unaccompanied children who crossed the border illegally in FY2016 were from EL Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Another three percent were from Mexico, and two percent were from other nations.
Two-thirds of these UACs were male, ORR data shows.
Perhaps most shocking, the administration added that while they released 59,170 unaccompanied children to “sponsors” living in the United States in FY2016, the agency conducted only 3,540 home studies (six percent) for those who were released. The report noted that another 10,546 children were “served by post-release services,” leaving another 45,054 children – roughly 76 percent of the total number released – without adequate follow-up services once they’re released.
The lack of oversight leaves many children, particularly younger ones or those who are female, at grave risk once they're admitted into the United States. The Los Angeles Times has reported cases of unaccompanied children being shipped to relatives with violent crimes charges, abusive homes and sponsors who sexually abused them.
On top of admitting gang members and adults posing as children, as well as placing vulnerable kids with dangerous sponsors, the Obama administration does an abysmally poor job of keeping track of these individuals once they're released. Data released by the Executive Office for Immigration Review shows that of the unaccompanied minors who crossed the border since 2014 and have since been ordered removed by an immigration judge, 90 percent didn’t even show up to court for their final hearing. Still, only about four percent of the unaccompanied minors who've crossed the border since 2014 have been deported.