In February, Border Patrol apprehended 96,974 illegal entrants at the Southwest border — a 15-year high for the month. The migrants were very different from those in February 2006, however, as many are now coming to exploit loopholes created years ago in Washington — and the Ninth Circuit.
Before 2011, 90 percent of illegal-migrant apprehensions were of single adults, mostly from Mexico. Last month, though, fewer than 71 percent were of single adults, while about 9.6 percent were of minors traveling without parents (known as “unaccompanied alien children” or “UACs”), and 19.5 percent were of adults with children (family units or “FMUs”).
Of unaccompanied minors apprehended this fiscal year, 63 percent came from the Northern Triangle of Central America (NTCA) — El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras — as did almost 64 percent of those in family units. Yet fewer than 31 percent of single adults were from the Northern Triangle countries. (In fact, nearly 60 percent were from Mexico.)
The total percentage of actual migrants who are unaccompanied children and families may be higher than these figures suggest, as 40 percent of the migrants recently apprehended had been expelled and reentered, but as explained below, families and children (in particular) are less likely to have been expelled.
If, as Department of Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas asserted, “poverty, high levels of violence, and corruption” in Mexico and the NTCA are driving illegal immigration, the percentages of single adults, minors, and families from the Northern Triangle should be roughly the same. But, they are not, because loopholes in the law have encouraged the entry of “other than Mexican” (OTM) minors and families.
[Read the rest at National Review.]