Over the past couple of weeks, Americans have learned something shocking. About 40,000 children from Mexico, Honduras and Ecuador have crossed the US border, often without their parents, in the last several months.
Americans are still confused as to why this is happening. Apparently many people in Central and South America have finally learned how to misuse the US legal system to their advantage. For example, if you are from Honduras and want to live in the USA, you can simply cross the border from Mexico into the USA and surrender to a US border guard (to surrender means that instead of trying to escape you give yourself up to the guard).
The guard cannot just send the illegal immigrant back. According to US law, everyone, including an illegal immigrant, has the right to a trial or hearing before a judge. So the illegal immigrant is given a piece of paper that tells him/her when his/her trial is. The trial is usually in 90 days. During those 90 days the illegal immigrant will disappear into an American city and will never be caught and sent back home. He or she will survive by doing various jobs for which he/she will be paid in cash - waiter, busboy, nanny etc.
These are difficult and low-paying jobs but people seem to want to do this. Frankly, restaurants, and wealthy people who need cheap baby sitters, profit the most from these 'illegals'. Frankly, these people often live like slaves in the USA.
There is also an aspect of the law which states that if a child comes into the USA illegally, and he/she has an illegal immigrant parent in the country, the child can be sent to live with the illegal immigrant parent.
Now people in Central America have learned that if they push their children across the border, the USA will not push them back. Tens of thousands of these children are now entering the country illegally in order to meet up with at least one parent or relative who previously entered the country illegally.
Here is an article about this:
Vocabulary to help you understand the article:
flawed - if something is flawed, it doesn't work properly, there are things wrong with it
undocumented children - people in the United States are not supposed to use the term 'illegal' in regard to people who come into the country illegally. We are supposed to say these people are 'undocumented' - which means they don't have the right paperwork, which means they are ILLEGALLY in the country. There are many Latinos in the United States and they do not like the term 'illegal' - they prefer the term 'undocumented' - and politicians do not want the huge numbers of Latinos to vote against them, so they use the term 'undocumented.'
fleeing - running away from, escaping
poverty - not having enough money to live according to humane standatds
without consequences - without being caught and punished
chief reasons - main reasons
overburdened - overworked, having too much work to do
welfare - in this case it means the safety of the children
dramatic increases - huge increases
the recognition - the realization, the awareness that if a child enters the USA, the USA will not do anything to send the child back
a moderate risk - a low risk, if a child comes into the USA he/she will probably never be caught and sent back to his/her home country
a resolution - and ending or solution to a problem
a crisis - a terrible situation that could lead to disaster
ill-equipped - not made to do something; if something is ill-equipped to serve a function, it was not established to serve that function; the facilities are not adequate or good enough
shelters - places where people can stay
perceptions that these children will be allowed to stay.... - basically the US is denying that children are pouring into the country because their parents believe they will not be sent back home. This is a lie. Obviously these children are pouring in because their parents believe they will be allowed to stay.
desperate situation - a hopeless situation
apprehended - caught, captured
backlogged - there are too many cases so everyone has to wait a long time before a case can be heard
pending cases - cases that are waiting
a surge - a huge and quick increase
beleaguered - overwhelmed, troubled, struggling
absorbs the cases - gets to and deals with
asylum - if a person is in danger of being killed by his government, he may seek asylum (safety) in the USA. So every illegal immigrant states that he/she is in danger of being killed by his government.
politically inopportune - this is a bad time for this to happen to Obama because it will hurt his goal to turn all the illegals in America into citizens.
deportation - getting kicked out of the country
a failure to enforce immigration laws - the Obama administration has not done a good job of punishing people who break US immigration laws, he has failed at doing this