No matter what the reasons, the problem is growing, and the New York Times has a lengthy story on the issue in today's edition.
The young people, mostly from Mexico and Central America, ride to the border on the roofs of freight trains or the backs of buses. They cross the Rio Grande on inner tubes, or hike for days through extremes of heat and chill in Arizona deserts. The smallest children...are most often brought by smugglers.I would personally know much less about this problem than I do were it not for one of our PhD students here in Geography at SDSU who is quoted in the article:
The youths pose troubling difficulties for American immigration courts. Unlike in criminal or family courts, in immigration court there is no right to a lawyer paid by the government for people who cannot afford one. And immigration law contains few protections specifically for minors.
“The children at home feel unloved, they feel empty,” said Elizabeth G. Kennedy, a researcher at San Diego State University who studies child migrants. “If parents know their child is feeling empty and is in danger, they will make a decision.”The decision, of course, is to encourage their children to come to the US, but too often things go awry. This seems to be a bad situation with no immediate solution in sight.