Imagine traveling alone for thousands of miles from Central America to the borderlands. You’re alone, displaced from your country, family, and belongings. And you’re only a child. Unfortunately, this is the reality for unaccompanied children crossing the US-Mexico border. Recent data shows an increase in unaccompanied children that US Border Patrol apprehended— from 33,239 in 2020, 146,925 in 2021, and 152,057 in 2022.
The increase in numbers correlates with the implementation of Title 42 in 2020 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. While Title 42 was created to prevent the introduction of diseases, the Trump administration invoked it to disguise their true intentions; increasing border reinforcements, regulating border crossings, preventing asylum to asylum-seeking immigrants, and expulsions.
This month, President Biden announced the expansion of Title 42, which will deny asylum to immigrants from Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba, and Nicaragua. The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights’ Senior Policy Analyst at the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, Mary Miller Flowers, stated in a Press Release: