By Paul Bedard
August 14, 2014
A second wave of some 30,000 unaccompanied illegal minors from violence-ravaged Central American nations is expected to swamp the U.S.-Mexico border in September and October, a crisis that could be worse than the one that has already pushed 62,000 children into the U.S., according to a top immigration group.
|A group of immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally|
“Right now it’s just too hard for them to cross, but we expect when it cools down a little bit in August or in September, October, we’ll see another surge again,” said Tiffany Nelms with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, a key support group handling the current crisis.
A group of immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.
A second wave will pressure border agents and support groups far more than the previous surge when 62,000 arrived over six months.
“Historically there have been periods when we don’t see a lot of kids, and because right now it is very hot in the desert. And so typically, June, July and August are slow months,” she said. “I think the slowdown really is related to the weather.”
But, she added, the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement has been working overtime to find housing for the anticipated second wave.
“ORR continues to expand its network of shelters in preparation for another surge,” she said at the press conference hosted by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation.
Many officials have predicted that 90,000 children will pass through the border this year, but there are some concerns it could go even higher.
“We keep blowing these records out of the water,” said Nelms, who noted that just 25,000 unaccompanied minors came to the U.S. last year.
An analyst from the Pew Research Center said that crisis has forced far more younger Latins and especially young girls to seek refuge in the U.S.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner’s “Washington Secrets” columnist, can be contacted at [email protected].