Walking Alone—Unaccompanied Minors on the US-Mexico Border

Walking Alone—Unaccompanied Minors on the US-Mexico Border

If they make it as far as northern Mexico, they’ve almost succeeded. And if they can avoid drug traffickers, thieves, and the Border Patrol, they’re in.

Fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries, thousands of minors from Mexico and Central America are showing up on the southern U.S. border. The U.S. Border Patrol apprehended 38,833 unaccompanied minors in fiscal year 2013, a 59 percent increase from the previous year.

While many of these minors are from various Mexican states, a large majority are Central American. These minors that risk their lives crossing the border do so for different reasons. Some try to reunite with family members, while others seek greater economic opportunity—but economic conditions alone certainly don’t explain the recent surge in unaccompanied minors crossing the border. Rather, many of these governments have completely lost their control of the state, leading to sharp increases in violence. The minors that are turning up on the southern U.S. border are fleeing this violence, which has created a humanitarian crisis for these countries as well as the United States.

Officials also report that misinformation about the deportation of minors encourages these children to make their way across the border. The White House states that this information is deliberately disseminated by criminal networks to encourage illegal crossing and smuggling.

To add to the problem, law enforcement in the United States has struggled to accommodate the large influx of minors into their custody. While the majority of minors from Mexico are turned around at the border, minors from other Central American countries are referred to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, who either reunite the children with a guardian or place them in a temporary shelter while they await their immigration proceedings. Unfortunately the quantity and quality of holding facilities for these children is inadequate to handle this sudden influx of minors, and many live in harsh conditions with little access to healthcare. For example, in May, the influx of minors was so unexpected that officials relocated hundreds of children to dormitories at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. 

A situation that began with poverty and political violence in Central America has turned into a humanitarian crisis for the United States. Our government is facing a challenge that must be met with wider systematic immigration policy changes and cooperation from these Latin American countries.  

Contributors

* Arc Aspicio |

Arc Aspicio is a management, strategy, and technology consulting firm that takes a mission-oriented approach to complex client challenges. As a rapidly growing company, Arc Aspicio has a bold strategy for 2016-2018 that drives growth through new capabilities in strategy, design, human capital, data analytics, information sharing, cybersecurity, and strategic communications. The company is known for a strong, collaborative culture that values gratitude – for its clients and its great team. And, #welovedogs! Follow us on Twitter @arcaspicio or learn more at www.arcaspicio.com.

Lynn Ann Casey / Chief Executive Officer
info@arcaspicio.com
703.465.2060

Mr. Roboto: Your Newest Coworker

Mr. Roboto: Your Newest Coworker

Could your next cubemate be a robot? Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX founder, is building our future coworkers and forming a world filled with Artificial Intelligence (AI) that could “beat us in just about everything,” including our jobs. As Musk attempts to create a real-life iRobot, many advantages and a possible partnership arise with this future. How can the Government and Homeland Security prepare and welcome new technological advancements?

Data + Strategy: Using Data to Inform Agency Strategy

Data + Strategy: Using Data to Inform Agency Strategy

Understanding the types of data available, gaining access to the right data, and making sense of data are daunting tasks for most organizations as they develop a strategy to meet mission demands and enterprise-wide goals. Data is especially challenging for the Government, yet provides the opportunity for insight for leaders as they strategically move their agencies forward.

Workplace Morale is Going to the Dogs… Literally!

Workplace Morale is Going to the Dogs… Literally!

There are few greater feelings than a dog’s unconditional love. And some are finding that a dog’s love can help combat stress at work. Secretary Zinke of the Interior Department announced his intent for "Doggy Days" where he encouraged employees to bring their canine companions to work on designated days. More than 80 dogs arrived for first event and the overjoyed employees immediately scheduled the next.

Accelerating FITARA Compliance: Five Steps That Leaders Can Take Today

Accelerating FITARA Compliance: Five Steps That Leaders Can Take Today

Implementing change is not always easy, but it is always necessary. Federal agencies have been working to transform how they acquire and manage Federal information technology (IT). The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) in December 2014 has increased visibility into this transformation.Although FITARA enhances the authority and accountability of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in reviewing and approving major IT investment projects, CIOs continue to look for new ways to implement best practices at their agencies.

Combating the Rise of Transnational Criminal Organizations

Combating the Rise of Transnational Criminal Organizations

Crime, corruption, and violence – particularly involving drug, human, and weapons trafficking – continue to increase at an alarming rate in the U.S. Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) are a critical part of this trend and pose a serious and growing threat to homeland security – at our borders and beyond.U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is at the tip of the spear to combat TCOs. With the context that the first goal in their Vision and Strategy 2020 Strategic Plan is Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime, CBP is focusing on disrupting TCOs responsible for the cross-border trafficking of illegal drugs, humans, and guns.

Design Thinking: Putting the Citizen at the Heart of Lasting Change

Design Thinking: Putting the Citizen at the Heart of Lasting Change

For the past few decades, there has been a growing increase in the digital channels available to network with the Federal government. These channels have made it easier for the public to interact and elicit responses from elected officials.These growing interactions have increased expectations for Government to be more transparent and collaborative. From the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to the Department of State (DOS), Design Thinking transformations have begun to develop and modernize programs to be more human-centered. Agencies and programs beholden to serve the public good should logically adopt a problem-solving mindset that places the individual at the heart of any lasting changes.

Using Behavioral Science to Improve Mission Outcomes

Using Behavioral Science to Improve Mission Outcomes

Although behavioral science has been studied and applied within academia for decades, recently the concept has emerged everywhere – from Silicon Valley tech giants such as Google and Uber, to various Government agencies including the Department of Education, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Agriculture.But defining and applying such a broad and sometimes-nebulous discipline can prove difficult. What exactly is behavioral science? How can the Government use the concepts and lessons learned effectively?

Crowdsourcing to Improve Security

Crowdsourcing to Improve Security

Many of us are familiar with the idea of crowdsourcing. Corporations and the Government both use crowdsourcing to generate data, raise awareness campaigns, and produce ideas. So, what if we used crowdsourcing to enhance our security and bridge communication gaps between the Government and American citizens at the same time?

Homeland Security Managers = Innovative Leaders

Homeland Security Managers = Innovative Leaders

The search for and implementation of innovative methods to protect the homeland should play an important role in homeland security managers’ approach to how they guide their organizations. Citizens expect government leaders to propose and implement organizational, acquisition, and personnel management practices that enhance our nation’s ability to prepare for and mitigate potential threats. They expect these to make them safer and the nation more secure.