2008 Law Unexpectedly at Center of Border Debate - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Continuing coverage of the crisis on the Texas border and the surge of unaccompanied minors

2008 Law Unexpectedly at Center of Border Debate



    2008 Law Unexpectedly at Center of Border Debate
    Getty Images
    NOGALES, AZ - JUNE 18: Two young girls watch a World Cup soccer match on a television from their holding area where hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children are being processed and held at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center on June 18, 2014, in Nogales, Arizona. Brownsville, Texas, and Nogales, have been central to processing the more than 47,000 unaccompanied children who have entered the country illegally since Oct. 1. (Photo by Ross D. Franklin-Pool/Getty Images)

    A 2008 law to address human trafficking is at the center of the debate over the immigration crisis at the nation's Southern border.

    The law was passed at a time when fewer than 10,000 unaccompanied minors showed up each year at the border. This year there are expected to be 90,000.

    They are flooding the system partly because the law requires special legal protections for people arriving here from Central America.

    Republicans want to change the law to allow Central American migrants to be treated the same as unaccompanied youths arriving from Mexico, who can be turned around at the border without a legal hearing.

    Immigration advocates and Democrats are increasingly opposed because they say many migrants are fleeing horrific gang violence and should not be sent back.