When we normally cover stories about asylum, we are generally talking about adults who are looking for a new, safer life in the United States. This is not the only group of people who need asylum, however; there are a number of children trying to escape persecution, too. And the number of unaccompanied children crossing into the U.S. has been on the rise with increasing violence in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
As with anyone moving to South Carolina and seeking asylum, a child working with an immigration lawyer to apply for asylum must also show a well-founded fear of persecution because of his or her membership in a particular social group, race, national origin, religion or political opinion. Since the stakes are so high and it can be tremendously complex to argue a case in front of an immigration judge, it is important that children applying for asylum work with an immigration lawyer.
The U.S. government has also been trying to care for the increasing number of unaccompanied children who are illegally crossing into the U.S. There is no guarantee that these children will apply for or be granted asylum, but at least the government is not forcing them to go without shelter.
The Obama administration has these unaccompanied children housed on one of three military bases in the southern U.S. The children are cared for by the Department of Health and Human Services which has recently requested double its current budget for the upcoming fiscal year. It is unclear if Congress will give them the extra $560 million.
Source: Reuters, “U.S. to open third military base to illegal child immigrants,” Richard Cowan, June 9, 2014