In response to the ongoing surge of illegal alien children and families coming across the southern border Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, said the Administration will be expanding the Refugee Admissions Program to help illegal aliens from Central American qualify as refugees.
“This approach builds on our recently established Central American Minors program, which is now providing an in-country refugee processing option for certain children with lawfully present parents in the United States,” Johnson said in a press conference last Thursday.
Secretary Johnson said they are working with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other non-government organizations to make these changes as soon as possible. The UNHCR will screen the candidates and set up safe zones for processing the applicants.
According to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency the number of unaccompanied minors has increased by 102% from 10,105 in fiscal year 2015 to 20,455 in fiscal year 2016. The number of family units caught at the border has increased by 171% in fiscal year 2016.
“We are preparing to offer vulnerable individuals fleeing the violence in Central America a safe and legal alternate path to a better life,” Secretary Johnson said. Yet a recent Center of Immigration Studies analysis of a Honduran survey shows that violence has decreased in the region and that safety plays a small role in a person’s decision to come to the U.S.
A DHS intelligence report, however, showed that nearly 60% of the family units apprehended and interviewed by Customs and Border Protection agents said that the current U.S. immigration policies influenced their decision to come to the U.S.
Read more on this story at CNSnews.com.
Updated: Wed, Mar 2nd 2016 @ 11:25am EST