Since October, an estimated 52,000 unaccompanied minors have attempted to enter the United States at its southern border in what Obama called a "humanitarian crisis." The young immigrants are motivated by false reports they will be allowed to remain in the United States, as well as by hopes of escaping violence and poverty in their native countries.
Obama said in an interview Thursday:
"Our message absolutely is: don't send your children unaccompanied, on trains or through a bunch of smugglers. We don't even know how many of these kids don't make it, and may have been waylaid into sex trafficking or killed because they fell off a train. Do not send your children to the borders. If they do make it, they'll get sent back. More importantly, they may not make it."
The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency is involved in helping to house the new arrivals.