What was the primary cause of the ten-fold surge in Central American minors illegally crossing the U.S. border between 2012 and 2014?
In May of 2014, the U.S. Border Patrol interviewed a sample of 230 Central American minors and families who were apprehended illegally crossing the border in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Among them, 219 said that their "primary reason for migrating to the United States was the perception of U.S. immigration laws granting free passes" to them. This ten-fold surge, which the White House called an "urgent humanitarian situation," began after President Obama announced in 2012 that he would not deport most illegal immigrants who had arrived in the U.S. before 2007 and were under the age of 16 when they arrived. In 2014, Obama extended the latest arrival date from 2007 to 2010. NBC News, CNN, and the Washington Post blamed this surge of illegal immigration on violence in the children's homelands, but in the nations where 93% of these minors came from, the murder rates were lower during all years of the 2012-2014 border surge than the year beforehand.