Border Patrol agents could arrest as many as 90,000 children trying to illegally cross the Mexican border alone this year, more than three times the number of children in 2013.
In the May 30th memo, Border Patrol Deputy Chief Ronald Vitiello says, “Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics estimates that by 2015 the number of children arrested while traveling alone could grow to 142,000.”
The government has previously estimated that more than 60,000 children could be arrested along the border this year. Children arrested with their parents are not part of this count of illegal border crossings, however.
Most of the children caught crossing alone are from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala and have been arrested in the Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley area in South Texas. That area is the now the Border Patrol’s busiest area along the Mexican border and has seen a significant increase in the number of border crossers from Central America.