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A new wave of young children are riding the rails through Mexico and crossing the U.S. border — alone. We’ll ask why.
The numbers of children surging over the southern US border now – unaccompanied, as young as six – is just staggering. Forty thousand-plus since October. Up 90 percent. Still growing, flooding in. Coming up from Central America, Mexico. Coming a thousand miles and more from Honduras. Scared north by vicious gangs. Terrorized along the way. And now, piling up in US facilities not designed for an influx of kids. This hour On Point: the new flood of child migrants at the US border – what’s sending them north, and what happens with them now.
-- Tom Ashbrook
Michael Seifert, coordinator of the Rio Grande Equal Voice Network.
Jennifer Harbury, lawyer with the Texas-Rio Grande Legal Aid Office.
Allison Ramirez, worker in a USAID-funded violence prevention program in San Salvador.
From Tom's Reading List
Vox: Thousands of children are fleeing Central America to Texas — alone -- "The situation has reached a crisis point, and policymakers still can't agree on how to fix it. This Monday, President Obama asked Congress for an extra $1.4 billion to handle the rise in child migrants. He also announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would coordinate a new multi-agency response. Congress, meanwhile, is divided on the issue. Two Republican-led House Committees are promising to hold hearings on the topic."
NPR: Riding 'The Beast' Across Mexico To The U.S. Border — "There's a network of freight trains that runs the length of Mexico, from its southernmost border with Guatemala north to the United States. In addition to grain, corn or scrap metal, these trains are carrying an increasing number of undocumented immigrants whose aim is to cross into the U.S. And despite the many deadly challenges it poses, more and more children — both with adults and alone — have been making the risky journey. "
Arizona Republic: Child migrants are America's great shame -- "In the past eight months, 47,000 children have been apprehended along the southwest border. This represents a steady increase from 2009. The numbers could reach 60,000 this year, according to AP.Most are from Central America, and increasing numbers of them are girls and children younger than 13."
This program aired on June 9, 2014.