Photo: Immigration news
The governments of the United States, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have begun a coordinated effort to halt the humanitarian crisis caused by massive arrivals of unaccompanied Central American minors at the southern U.S. border.
Guatemala hosted this Friday a meeting to establish shared strategies that was attended by Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina, Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, and representatives of Honduras and Mexico.
Biden announced that the Obama administration will contribute to the three Central American governments the amount of $9.6 million, specifically to “receive and reintegrate its repatriated citizens.”
At the same time, the U.S. government will increase the funds of its cooperation programs for the coming years with Guatemala (by $40 million), El Salvador ($25 million) and Honduras ($18.5 million), which will be added to the total $130 million they currently receive together.
Perez Molina called on parents not to allow their children and teenagers to run the risks of traveling to the United States unaccompanied.
The Honduran government had already said it will hold an international conference in July to deal with the humanitarian crisis of migrant youngsters traveling alone to the United States.
The government of El Salvador also said this week that it will strengthen its consulates along the southern U.S. border, an intention also expressed by Guatemala.
Obama also spoke by telephone this Thursday with his Mexican counterpart, Enrique Peña Nieto, and citing the dangers faced by youngsters traveling alone, Obama praised the Mexican government’s efforts to persuade its citizens not to send their children across the border, according to the statement.
“The President also reiterated that arriving migrants will not qualify for legalization under proposed immigration reform legislation or deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA),” the White House said, referring to the Obama initiative benefiting young undocumented migrants already in the United States.
The young migrants are subject to deportation, though each case is reviewed individually.
Extrapolating from the current trend, U.S. authorities say the number of unaccompanied children crossing the border could reach 60,000 by year’s end.