An article from The Washington Times reported that, during the month of July, 34,000 Central Americans were caught trying to cross the border. According to data from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), that number is greater than in July 2015, when 29,000 were apprehended. It also pushes the number of apprehensions in the first 10 months of Fiscal Year 2016 to more than 332,000 — greater than during the entirety of FY 2015.
Among those who were caught, 7,500 were traveling together as families and 5,068 were children traveling by themselves. Border Patrol officials said these numbers concerned them because in previous years around this time, the hot weather resulted in fewer crossings. The agency however has seen a surge in families and children attempting these crossings despite the warm temperature. The Department of Homeland Security, meanwhile, put a positive spin on this, stating that the overall number of undocumented immigrants who were apprehended last month — not just Central Americans — fell 2% from June.
Those who come from Central American countries such as El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala have attempted to cross the border in order to escape the violence that plagues their countries. On July 26, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Department of Homeland Security announced it was expanding its existing Central American Minors program. Previously, only unaccompanied children were eligible for refugee status; the DHS has since expanded the eligibility to include siblings over the age of 21, parents and relatives who serve as the children’s caregivers, according to The New York Times.
Human rights groups are demanding that those from the worst parts of Central America be granted refugee status and be allowed to stay in the United States. Those who have crossed the border have asked for asylum or seek other forms of protection in order to avoid deportation and be allowed to lawfully remain in the United States.
If you are living in the United States as a non-citizen and are fearful of facing deportation, the experienced immigration attorneys at Bretz & Coven LLP can help you gain Legal Permanent Resident status or deferred action. The firm will also defend you during removal proceedings and appeals in the event you have already been discovered by immigration authorities. Call (212) 267-2555 in New York or (732) 313-0075 in New Jersey.