A major challenge for US and Mexico immigration policy has been a surge in child migration. And in many cases, these minors are traveling alone. During the Trump administration, an unprecedented surge of children and adolescents on the border resulted in policies that, according to critics, stretched the limits of international law, among them, child detention camps and the practice of family separation.
A recent US Homeland Security report suggests that more than 2,100 children have yet to be reunited with their families. US President Joe Biden has promised to undo many of the harsh immigration policies put in place by his predecessor, but is the approach working? The latest statistics are mixed. Though illegal crossings have hit a 20-year high, child migrant numbers are on the decline.
One of the biggest shifts in migrant demographic data from Border officials in recent months has not only been a decline in unaccompanied minors but an increase in migration from Mexico. Mexican migrants now number more than twice as many Guatemalan, Honduran, and Salvadoran migrants put together. Policy experts say the ever-changing dynamics of migration from the region is a major challenge for both the US and Mexico, especially in the case of minors.
Though the US and Mexico affirm that bilateral progress is being made in the processing of children and adolescents, migrant right’s activists say, there’s still a long way to go for both countries to fully meet international human rights standards.