By Carly Harsha | Opinion Editor
Following a visit to South America by President Obama in May 2013, a large influx of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs) entered the southern U.S. border through Mexico.
This event was largely ignored by the media, despite the fact that the number of these minors from South American countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, had reached at least 20,000 children.
In October 2013, the White House received word from a report by the University of Texas El Paso that the following summer anticipated tens of thousands of UACs to hit the southern U.S. border.
The Department of Homeland Security responded to this projection in January of this year by posting job notifications, looking for contractors to assist the reported 65,000 UACs.
By the time spring arrived this year, a full year had gone by with thousands of UACs crossing the border without deportation. The Department of Homeland Security began to notice a rise in crimes reported in the countries that many of these UACs arrived from.
The large rise in crime in these South American countries can be seen as a large push factors for UACs to cross into America.
Texas Republican Michael McCaul, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said that in order to fix the border crisis, “the administration must first recognize its failed immigration and border policies are the source of the problem.”
On June 20, Congressional leadership met with leaders from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico in order to discuss the situation.
“As long as immigration reform is not approved, the exodus of children to the United States will continue,” Jorge Ramon Hernandez, the senior representative of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, said at the meeting.
Congress has plans to spend nearly $100 million in aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to help the UACs return home. Congress has also set aside $161.5 million this year for programs designed to help Central American countries deal with security issues.
This will continue to have a large negative impact on cities all around Texas and California. Tax dollars are being poured into resources focused on helping these children return home safely. Those children who remain will eventually enter the public school systems, forcing schools to make hard decisions about reallocating already scarce resources.