Homeland Security officials confirmed to FoxNews.com on Tuesday that close to 40 undocumented immigrants have been flown back to Honduras. The group of people included 17 women, 12 girls and nine boys, the youngest child being 18-months of age and the oldest child, 15 years old.
This group of immigrants had been housed at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia, N.M. They are among the thousands of undocumented illedal immigrants flooding our borders from Central American countries, including Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Some are apprehended by border police, but many actually seek out and turn themselves over to border authorities.
The charter flight from New Mexico to San Pedro Sula, Honduras on Monday is just one of many more planned flights in the administration's attempt to fast-track the process of sending undocumented immigrants back to their home-countries. Fleeing gang violence, poverty and murder, there has been an unprecedented rise in the number of minors, often unaccompanied by adults, to the United States.
In a written statement to FoxNews.com, Homeland Security officials said: “As President Obama, the vice president, and (Department of Homeland Security) Secretary (Jeh) Johnson have said, our border is not open to illegal migration and we will send recent illegal migrants back.” The statement also said this first flight was just the "initial wave" of deportations to take place.
In the eight months preceding June 15, an estimated 52,000 minor children have been detained at the Mexico-U.S. border, almost all oft them from Central America. The figures are double the previous year's tally, and is probably too low because it is not known how many more children were able to slip over the border undetected.
Regardless of what many people might think about illegal immigrants, the Department of Homeland Security claims they do have certain rights. The department says that under the law, recent immigrants are screened for "credible fears," and despite quick removal procedures, the adults and children still
“maintain important due process rights, including the ability to seek asylum, appeal to an immigration judge the denial of a credible fear finding, and the ability to seek legal representation.”
President Barack Obama faces increasing pressure to "do something" about this immigration crisis. While immigration advocates are begging him to address the "humanitarian" crisis that has been created, Congressional Republicans are are blaming the whole mess on Obama's immigration policies, demanding that the president secure our borders.
Last week, president Obama declared that Central American children crossing the border illegally would be sent home. The drug cartels are a prominent part of the reason behind so many of these children fleeing to America, either individually or because they are being sent north by their families. The violence and far-reaching arms of the drug gangs prey on the kids because they are the easiest to grab.
President Juan Hernandez of Honduras, blames the U.S. drug policy for sparking violence and causing the increase in migration to the United States. He even went so far as to use his wife in begging the United States to do more to help.
"The countries consuming drugs need to support (us) and take joint responsibility because if there wasn't demand, there wouldn't be production and we wouldn't be living like we are," said Ana Garcia de Hernandez while she waited at the airport for the arrival of the children.
The White House estimates that as many as 150,000 undocumented children from Central America could cross our borders over the next 12 months if the government doesn't take any action. This has created a stale-mate between the Obama administration and Congress, and comes down to just who is going to make the first move to resolve the crisis.