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In 2014 there has been a pick in the number of children trying to cross the US-Mexico border. This has provoked heated debates on the relevance on a human rights framework when looking at migrations from South to North America.
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Child migrants to US
There has been a substantial increase in the number of unaccompanied children trying to gain access to the US - for example there were 19,418 in 2009, whereas the figure for the 9 months to July 2014 was about 52,000.
The vast majority are fleeing poverty and violence in Central America. It has been estimated that about 40% of those in the custody of the ORR are eligible to avoid removal. Apart from those coming from Canada or Mexico, who are swiftly returned, they are guaranteed a hearing before an immigration judge. However, their case could take years, and in the meantime many are dependent on charitable help, and/or are housed in detention facilities which are overcrowded and unsanitary.