The administration is trying to quell rampant rumors reaching Central America that American border authorities are offering entry permits to parents traveling with young children after they are caught. Officials hope that by increasing the numbers of migrants who are detained and then deported, others considering the trek will be dissuaded from doing so.
But many migrants told Border Patrol agents they decided to set out for the United States after hearing that it was offering some kind of entry permit. Many other migrants who asked for asylum after being apprehended have been allowed to stay temporarily, further fueling hopes that Central American women and children were receiving special treatment.The "surge" is a little confusing because the problem of unaccompanied minor children has become subsumed under another related, but generally separate issue. Nonetheless, there has been a steady increase in unaccompanied minor children, and this Wednesday, 25 June, the Migration Policy Institute in Washington DC will hold a webinar on "Unaccompanied Minors: A Crisis with Deep Roots and No Simple Solutions." If you are reading this after 25 June, there should be a link to the information on their website.
You can also keep up on the latest news from the field in El Salvador by tuning into Elizabeth Kennedy's blog.