To understand what is happening at the border we have to go back to at least 2008. The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 passed with broad bipartisan support and was signed into law by George W. Bush on December 23rd, 2008. That law required that children encountered at the border be admitted and an investigation completed. No wonder Congress and evangelicals were in a hurry to get it passed. There were many cases of child abuse and trafficking that placed the US State Department in the position of returning children to traffickers and gangs seeking protection payments and prostitutes. The primary group lobbying for this law was evangelicals This didn’t entirely stop when the law was passed either.
So even the safeguards, we had in place after Wilberforce was not enough. Also, the gang that is doing the extortion and forcing children into prostitution and extorting them is a USA-based gang called Mara 18. So we don’t know if the children showing up at the border are just being trafficked and it makes it easier for Mara 18 if their prostitutes come in legally.
Still, Trump felt strongly that this was not right and strangely evangelicals were now against their legislation for reasons I have not yet investigated. Trump created an Executive order that overrode Wilberforce. He made no apparent attempt to get the law changed. Of course, this is America, and although Trump managed to keep this tied up in the courts for years it is the legislature that passes the laws, not the President. In November 2020 when the EO was shot down by the courts. That month saw a 67% increase in crossing foreshadowing the events we see now.