Posted on May 11, 2015

Fewer Children Are Entering U.S. Illegally as Mexico Cracks Down, Analysis Finds

Randal C. Archibold, New York Times, April 28, 2015

A significant drop in the number of children apprehended at the United States-Mexico border in recent months sprang from Mexico’s record number of deportations of minors traveling without a guardian, according to an analysis released Tuesday.

The analysis, by the Pew Research Center in Washington, noted that the flow of children not authorized to enter the United States had dropped precipitously, to 12,509, from October to February. The vast majority of the children were Central American.

That was down from 21,402 in the same period a year ago, amid a wave of children fleeing violence in their home countries and drawn by false promises of amnesty in the United States. {snip}

Mexico, pushed by the United States and other countries, stepped up law enforcement in its southern border region in ways not seen in years, with raids on freight trains that migrants sneak aboard to travel north and more frequent immigration checks on hotels and vehicles. Officials returned 3,819 minors to their home countries in the period studied, a 56 percent increase over the previous year.

Children making their way from Honduras, where crime, violence and the rumors of amnesty were strongest, slowed to the point that Guatemala now accounts for the largest share of children apprehended in Mexico, according to the study.


Mexico’s get-tough approach has led to complaints from advocates for migrants. They say that the police have been heavy-handed and have detained many migrants unable or unwilling to pay bribes to pass through, and that the government has made it difficult for people to apply for asylum. {snip