HERE THEY COME: Central American migrants ride a freight train earlier this month during their journey toward the U.S.-Mexico border in Chahuites, Mexico.
About 52,000 undocumented children have been caught at the border since last October, double the number from the previous year. Many of them have turned themselves into border authorities.
Here are the facts about the border situation as reported by Watchdog.org thus far:
Many critics point to a 2008 human-trafficking law that allows minors entering the country from Central America to request asylum hearings, which they say is being exploited and overused.
Because the border states’ facilities and resources have been overwhelmed by the surge of child immigrants, the feds have tapped other states to help handle the problem.
President Obama has called for $3.7 billion in funding to help handle the crisis in the short-term. Many question how helpful these funds will be — especially given that $300 million of it is projected to go to Central American governments.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., have tried to downplay the full gravity of the situation by claiming “the border is secure.”
Schools in Florida already have started asking the federal government for more money to help handle the expected influx of migrant children.
Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina believes additional federal aid to Central America would help stem the tide of children streaming to the American border. He has asked for $2 billion in aid and other U.S. investment.
This stands in contrast to the advice of New York Times columnist and author David Bornstein, who says in his book, How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, that the most effective social programs are run by individual entrepreneurs and not big organizations.
Many Republican leaders say the crisis is being made worse by an abuse of federal power. Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman was furious when federal officials refused to give him details about 200 undocumented children placed in his state, and Senator Ron Johnson’s warning that the crisis paves the way for abuse of federal power and executive authority.
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