Susan Jones, CNS News, March 27, 2015
Unaccompanied children crossing the southern border into the United States still number in the thousands, probably the tens of thousands, even though the percentages are lower, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told Congress on Thursday.
“For the kids, unaccompanied kids, it’s running about 40 percent lower,” Johnson said. “I hope it stays that way, but we have to be prepared in the event it doesn’t.”
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) said he’s happy the percentages are down, but he pressed Johnson to give him the “total numbers.”
“Last year, 2014, the total number including the Mexican UACs (unaccompanied children), I believe, was 68,000,” Johnson replied. “If you take out the–and I’m doing this from memory now. If you take out the Mexican children, I believe the total number was about 58,000. I suspect, if it stays at the current rate, will come in at around 40 percent, 60 percent of 68,000, whatever that number is.”
(Forty percent would be 27,200; 60 percent would be 40,800.)
“So you’re still talking about–and percentages are lower, but you’re still talking about…
“Thousands of people, yes,” Johnson said.
Johnson said in February 2015, 2,395 unaccompanied children (UAC) were apprehended at the southern border compared with 4,845 in February 2014.
“My educated guess about March (2015) is that March will be higher, probably to around the 2,600 or 2,700 level,” Johnson said.
Cuellar asked Johnson if those numbers include “family units” as well.
“No, that’s a different number,” Johnson said.
“Right, which means that you got unaccompanied kids and then the kids that come in with family units, that’s another number. Can you give us roughly what are the (family) numbers for F.Y. ’15?
“When we talk about family units, we’re talking about individuals in family units,” Johnson explained. “For January, it was a total of 1,622. January 2014 was 2,286. February 2015 it was 2,043. February 2014 was 3,281.