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Review: Misperceptions Behind Surge of Illegal Children

Catherine Herridge (2014, July 16).  “Misperceptions about U.S. immigration policy behind surge of illegal children, report says.” Fox


Immigration of mostly poverty stricken individuals and families into wealthier European and American countries is a complex and divisive crisis. It is important to look at all sides of this issue.

This article cites a July 7 (2014) report from the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) using information posted on the U.S. Justice Department website by the DEA and Homeland Security.

“Of the 230 migrants interviewed, 219 cited the primary reason for migrating to the U.S. was the perception of U.S. immigration laws granting free passes or permisos to UAC (unaccompanied children) and adult females OTMs (other than Mexicans) traveling with minors,” the report said.

Herridge’s article goes on to quote Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Florida:

It’s a critical situation and if we don’t deal with it urgently but well—done right—then we’re facing a crisis of just huge proportions.

Diaz-Alart had just returned from a visit to Central America—along with other lawmakers. He described how human smugglers—known as coyotes—are exploiting the U.S. debate on immigration, and the Obama’s administration’s attempt to practice discretion in cases of individuals brought to the U.S. illegally as minors.

The violence isn’t new. The situation in those countries is not new. These cartels have seen a weakness in the system. They’ve seen statements coming from the administration that they have used in order to frankly increase the number of people coming over.

Remember… a five-year-old or an 11-year-old can’t just walk over the border and get into the United States. These are organized coyotes doing this.

Herridge concludes her article reminding us that the current trend will bring 90,000 illegal children into this country by the end of the year—and 160,000 in 2015.

While customs and border protection officials issued no statement about the intelligence report, Homeland Security officials stressed that a combination of factors, including bad economy and security concerns, were behind the surge. Earlier this month, a media campaign was launched by the U.S. government in Central America to combat misconceptions about American (immigration) laws.

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

  1. How has this article and video affected you?  What are your feelings about this?
  2. What are your thoughts about this “immigration crisis”?
  3. What questions would you like to ask a child immigrant, a mother, or adult male immigrant? A border-patrol officer?
  4. What questions would you like to ask the President? A conservative Congressperson and policy maker? A liberal Congressperson and policy maker?
  5. What are your feelings and thoughts about Congressional deadlock, and do you see it as harming the U.S.?
  6. Do you see yourself, in this debate, as trying to balance economic and political realism with humanitarian compassion?


  1. Only as we take seriously all sides of the immigration debate will we be able to come to a moderate and sane position on the matter.
  2. Our wars against drugs and against deadly urban shootings are failing because we have not taken into account the laws of supply and demand. Until the demand for highs and self-medication, for juice or powerful status and revenge, are diminished, drugs will be available for addicts and guns for thugs. And until the desire for personal dignity and family survival are satisfied in poor societies, and until wealthy societies’ desires for cheap labor are satisfied, the flow of immigrants into wealthy nations cannot be eliminated.
  3. Meanwhile, realistic and compassionate strategies must be adopted—and this can only come through social and political compromises. Politics has always worked at the art of compromise.
  4. People of faith, and faith-based organizations, come to this  humanitarian crisis in light of their Scriptural teachings regarding poverty, sojourners, and aliens. The magnitude of this crisis calls for collaboration among all parties—secular and faith-based. Secularists and civic government have the power to attend to needs the faith community may miss, and faith-based people and organizations have the power to reach depths of personal and communal needs for transformation that secularists may miss.

Dean Borgman
© 2018 CYS

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