Rise in unaccompanied girls and younger children coming to the U.S.

The Pew Research Center has released new data on the thousands of unaccompanied minors who are coming to the United States, many of whom are from…
Rise in unaccompanied girls and younger children coming to the U.S.

On this June 18, 2014, file photo, boys wait for medical appointments in a holding area where hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children were being processed and held at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center in Nogales, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool)

The Pew Research Center has released new data on the thousands of unaccompanied minors who are coming to the United States, many of whom are from Central America.

One study shows that not only are more unaccompanied minors crossing the southern border this year, but they are also crossing at much younger ages.

SEE ALSO: As migrant crisis hits U.S. border, El Paso keeps it classy

According to government data obtained by the Pew Research Center, there has been a 117 percent increase in apprehensions of unaccompanied minors who are 12 years old or younger during this fiscal year compared with the last fiscal year. During that same time frame, there has been a 12 percent increase in apprehensions of unaccompanied minors who are between 13-17 years old.

Pew Hispanic Center

(Source: Pew Hispanic Center)

U.S. officers have detained more than 57,000 unaccompanied minors—from infants to 17-year-olds—from October through June of this year. That’s significantly more than the nearly 39,000 unaccompanied minors who were apprehended in the prior full fiscal year.

Another study by the Pew Research Center shows that the number of unaccompanied girls, particularly from Honduras, who are caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has increased more rapidly this year than the number of boys.

SEE ALSO: America Ferrera pays visit to migrant children

According to the study, the number of unaccompanied girls younger than 18 caught at the Southwest border has jumped 77 percent so far this fiscal year to 13,008, compared with just 7,339 during all of the last fiscal year. Meanwhile, the number of boys has grown by just 8 percent, from 31,420 during all of the last year to 33,924 so far this fiscal year.

Pew Hispanic Research

(Source: Pew Hispanic Research)

When it comes to how Hispanics think the influx of unaccompanied minors should be addressed, there is a big division.

The Pew Research Center conducted a survey in July and found that 49 percent of Hispanics think the U.S. should follow current policy to deal with unaccompanied minors even if it takes a long time. Meanwhile, 47 percent said they support speeding up the process even if some who are eligible for asylum are deported.

The survey also asked Hispanics to grade President Barack Obama on his handling of the influx of unaccompanied minors. The results show 46 percent of Hispanics disapprove and 34 percent approve of the way Obama has handled the situation.

SEE ALSO: House approves revised border bill that’s likely to go nowhere