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Nearly 50,000 unaccompanied minors from Central America and Mexico have poured across the United States’ border with Mexico in the past eight months, the vast majority of which stem from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, Central America’s Northern Triangle. Unlike Mexican minors, who can be deported within hours, Central Americans are placed in removal proceedings that may take several months. The recent surge in the number of these minors has overwhelmed the operational capacity of the U.S. Border Patrol, strained the detention resources of immigration authorities, and overburdened American immigration courts. It has also raised the level of public emotion and fueled much political theater over the issue of immigration.
Published in Georgetown Journal of International Affairs.