Miami is one of 10 cities to which immigrant children crossing the Mexican border are being sent. With thousands of minors involved, the situation has reached a level that is reportedly stressing agencies involved in providing services during this immigration influx. Although the arrival of unaccompanied minors to the United States is far from a new concern, the numbers arriving in the last two years have increased dramatically. The majority of the children involved in the recent surge are from Central America. In some cases, they cross in groups, and in others, they cross with assistance from adults who are considered to be migrant smugglers.
In Miami, experts who work in assistance agencies note that the number of beds available in area shelters had to be increased approximately three months ago. Those working with these young people are interested in helping them find legal methods for remaining as residents and potentially seeking citizenship in the future.
Federal statistics indicate that nearly 50,000 minors have entered the nation without being accompanied by parents since October 1, 2013, twice the number from the previous year. Both President Obama and other national leaders have expressed concern regarding the conditions in the children’s home countries. Meanwhile, those working at a local level must address the basic needs of the shelters along with the needs of those who have since resettled in the Miami area.
To assist a child who has come to the United States in this manner, an individual may want to consult an attorney who is experienced in immigration law. A legal professional may provide steps needed for initiating the process for obtaining permission for permanent residency.
Source: Miami Herald, “Surge in unaccompanied minors across Mexican border is felt in Miami“, Alfonso Chardy, June 15, 2014