FAQs About Illegal Immigrant Children

Illegal immigrant children are sometimes known in legal terms as Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs). In last few years, there has been an increase in the number of UACs entering the United States.

What Do the Numbers Look Like?

According to the United States Customs and Border Protection agency, historical low numbers of undocumented immigrants have been apprehended along the Southern border. Despite this, the agents on patrol have seen an increase in the number of children trying to enter the United State illegally.

These children often don’t have the means to apply for a visa, and so they’re forced to enter the United States by other means. The first 9 months of 2014 saw around 52,000 UACs enter the United States who were then taken into custody. This is a 99% increase on the previous year.

What Happens to UACs in Custody?

Once taken into custody, many of the UACs who cannot be returned to their country of origin are transferred to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). The ORR maintains custody of the children until they can be placed with foster families in the United States, or to await a decision on deportation.

It’s worth noting that formal deportation procedures can take months, if not years before a decision is made. During this time, the individual may be able to petition an immigration judge to remain in the country.

Where Do the UACs Come From?

With such a phenomenal number of children attempting to enter the United States illegally each year, it’s hard to ignore the facts of where they came from. Contrary to popular opinion, Mexican children make up a very small number of illegal aliens.

93% of UACs were known to come from Central American countries such as Guatemala (37%), Honduras (30%) and El Salvador (26%). The remaining 7% was split between Mexico (3%), Ecuador (2%) and others (2%).

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Illegal Immigrant Children, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at 480.461.5330, log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.