Child-Migrant Detentions along US-Mexico Border at Year Low

EspañolAccording to statistics released by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the number of unaccompanied children migrating to the country has dropped significantly.

During the month of August, DHS detained 3,141 unaccompanied migrant children along the southwest US border, a 70.4 percent decline compared to June, when US authorities detained more than 10,000 children coming from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Mexico.

After two consecutive months of declining numbers, the latest DHS report confirms the downward trend in migration.

“Over the summer, at the direction of the president, this department, along with the Departments of Health and Human Services, Defense, State, and Justice responded aggressively to the situation,” stated Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson in a press release.

In response to the latest figures, Laura Thompson, deputy director of the International Organization for Migration, said that “half of those migrating are women who are the head of the household, and leave their children under the care of others or abandoned. They have the dilemma of either staying alone in a complicated social environment or emigrating alone, as we’ve seen this year.” Thompson added that she believes unfair wealth distribution is the reason many people choose to leave.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, however, points to other possible reasons. Last June, amid the peak of the child migrant influx, the president said he believed they had been “displaced by war,” making reference to the war on drugs.

A report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy released last week pointed to drug prohibition as the primary reason behind the increase in violence in Central America.

“Rather than reduce crime, enforcement-based drug policy actively fuels it. Spiraling illicit drug prices provide a profit motive for criminal groups to enter the trade, and drive some people who are dependent on drugs to commit crime in order to fund their use,” states the commission.

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