New Customs and Border Protection data show the number of unaccompanied children and families arriving at the southern border during the first half of this year rival those seen in the record-setting year of 2014. If this trend continues, it may once again overwhelm the border and immigration systems, resurfacing serious questions about our ability to manage large-scale migrant flows.
— Fox News Latino (@foxnewslatino) May 25, 2016
Since Central American migration began in earnest in 2012, government agencies have struggled to meet the needs of the large numbers of migrants. Without additional emergency funding, they have been forced to reallocate resources from other functions and to create makeshift short-term fixes to simply process the arrivals.
However, as these cases moved into the immigration courts, it added backlogs to an already under-resourced system. Detained families and unaccompanied children are given priority processing in the courts to make their cases against removal, but their cases still may not be heard for a year or more. The delays result in many court no-shows, sometimes intentional, but often because the immigrant has relocated and doesn’t receive notice of their hearing, or because traveling a long distance to the hearing is impractical or impossible.