Updated 06:29 AM EST, Sun, Dec 05, 2021

Most Unaccompanied Minor Immigrants Entering U.S. Illegally Qualify for Asylum Under Current Law

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Despite what the White House has been saying in recent weeks, most of the unaccompanied youth immigrants who are traveling across the U.S. - Mexico border lines can qualify to stay under refugee or political asylum guidelines.

According to Fox News Latino, nearly 80 percent of the undocumented children traveling alone into the United States can qualify to stay in the U.S. due to problems with "join or die" gang recruitment, high murder rates, and other humanitarian issues in their home countries.

For unaccompanied youth from nations like Honduras, which has the highest murder rate in the world, El Salvador and Guatemala, there are options other than deportation. The Special Immigrant Juveniles visa (SIJ) is available for minors who make it into the United States and are victims of abuse, neglect, or abandonment. 

The SIJ visa came about as part of a 2008 expansion of laws that covered child victims of human trafficking. The changes broadened the conditions in which children are eligible to apply for the special visa, and according to experts, most of the children now crossing border lines fall into that expanded category.

Experts estimate that under the current guidelines of SIJ, nearly 80 percent of the children found crossing border lines unaccompanied could qualify.

Where the old guidelines stated that both parents must be found to be deceased before the child was able to qualify, the changes made in 2008 now only have to prove that one parent in their home nation is abusive, deceased, or uninvolved to be considered.

But as high as that number seems, the process is often arduous. In order to qualify for an SIJ visa, the child must go before a judge, who will determine whether there is cause to believe that they have been abused, abandoned, or neglected.

The case is then taken to a federal level, where consideration will be made for the visa.

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