Wednesday, December 31, 2014

TWISTING WORDS: El Paso Not Affected by Wave of Child Migrants from Central America, Officials Say


EL PASO, Texas – The crisis caused by the massive wave of unaccompanied child migrants arriving in the U.S. from Central America did not affect the area of El Paso, Texas, despite a sharp increase in the detention of minors in the area, officials said.

In 2014, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the number of youngsters detained was up 38 percent in the El Paso area over 2013, though the great majority of them were Mexicans, as in previous years.

The Border Patrol in El Paso said the figure did not represent a substantial change since the area did not show an increase of unaccompanied minors coming from Central America.

During 2013, 744 unaccompanied minors were detained in the El Paso area, which extends from West Texas to southern New Mexico, compared with the 1,029 reported in 2014.

The number places the area in fifth place on the border for the number of unaccompanied youths detained, as well as of undocumented families seeking to enter the United States.

Ramiro Cordero, spokesman for the Border Patrol in El Paso, told Efe on Tuesday that the vast majority of children detained after entering U.S. territory unaccompanied come from Ciudad Juarez, right across the border in Mexico.

“Most of the unaccompanied minors that we catch are kids from Juarez, who stay two or three hours and go back. Here we haven’t had the problem of non-Mexican minors, as has occurred elsewhere,” he said.

The spokesman for the agency said the process of detention and repatriation of minors remains unchanged despite an increase during 2014 of Central American youngsters taken into custody on the Texas border, since 95 percent of all minors were Mexicans.

Fiscal year 2014 also saw an increase in the capture of undocumented families in this area bordering on Mexico.

El Paso placed fifth in the detention of undocumented youngsters in the year 2013, below Del Rio where 2,135 detentions of minors were reported, Laredo with 3,795, Tucson with 9,070 and Rio Grande, where the greatest number of minors were detained, with 21,553. 


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