Immigration Crisis And The United States

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Beginning in 2011, the United States has witnessed a massive influx in the numbers of unattended alien children arriving at the country’s southern borders. As thousands of children continued to arrive at the U.S. Border Patrol facilities, resources were quickly depleted, culminating in an immigration crisis with the arrival of over 60,000 children in 2014 (Chen & Gill, 2015). These children were coming mainly from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador and the majority of the new arrivals were without parents or caretakers (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR], 2014).
As the U.S. attempted to manage this surge in immigrants, several public health concerns began to be raised. First, why were these children leaving their countries of origin and flocking to the United States? If the cause of this immigration crisis was due to increased violence, poor living conditions, or abandonment in their homeland, then what role does the United States play in protecting this vulnerable population? Second, does the current U.S. healthcare system have the ability to absorb this burden and provide the necessary medical care and resources for the multitude of unattended children? Lastly, how would this population influx affect the health status of current U.S. residents and would these foreign children bring with them unwanted infectious disease? As voices of dissent began to be raised claiming the public health risks brought by these undocumented foreign children, it

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