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Report: More kids 12 and under arriving at US-Mexico border



A poster that is part of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection information campaign targeted at countries where a lot of minors traveling to the U.S. originate. It translates to: “I thought it would be easy for my son to get his papers in the North. That wasn’t true.” According to a new analysis of government data, the share of children 12 and younger making the journey has increased.
A poster that is part of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection information campaign targeted at countries where a lot of minors traveling to the U.S. originate. It translates to: “I thought it would be easy for my son to get his papers in the North. That wasn’t true.” According to a new analysis of government data, the share of children 12 and younger making the journey has increased.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection

The share of young children children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on their own has gone up, according to analysis by the Pew Research Center.

A tally of government data obtained through a Freedom of Information Act shows that more kids 12 and under are being apprehended as unaccompanied minors - many of them fleeing violence in Central America - continue to make the journey to the United States.

In fiscal year 2013, which ended last Sept. 30, nine percent of unaccompanied child migrants were 12 and younger; since last October through the end of May, 16 percent were 12 and younger. From the report:

The new data show a 117% increase in the number of unaccompanied children ages 12 and younger caught at the U.S.-Mexico border this fiscal year compared with last fiscal year. By comparison, the number of apprehensions of unaccompanied teenagers ages 13-17 has increased by only 12% over the same time period.

But although younger children are the fastest-growing group, there are still more teens being apprehended overall: Since last October, 84 percent of youths caught at the border have been teens, down somewhat from 90 percent in 2013.

From October of last year through the end of June, there were 57,525 unaccompanied minors taken into custody at the border by U.S. immigration officials. Only 38,759 children and teens were apprehended at the border during all of fiscal year 2013.

Read the entire Pew report here.