Thursday, September 18, 2014

US Border Crisis: Minor Central Americans Face Criminal Victimization En-Route to Border

According to EFE, while the US government acknowledges that there is still a lot to do about the crisis of Central American children entering the country, experts and activists believe that sooner rather than later a new wave of unaccompanied youngsters will arrive at the border with México.

“The situation in Central America hasn’t changed, we have the same problems of insecurity and violence, the lack of governability continues and jobs are still a problem--there is no work for young people who are members of cartels or street gangs,” the director of the Americas Program of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Carl Meacham, told EFE on Thursday (September 18).

Though the entry of unaccompanied youngsters has declined in recent months following the massive arrivals in May and June, “that won’t last long,” Meacham said.

He said that President Barack Obama’s delay in easing immigration has simply sparked hopelessness amongst Central American families, particularly those with minor children, which is why they prefer to pay for their kids to be brought north.

Whatever the risks they run in terms of being exploited by the “coyotes,” who charge whatever the market will bear to reach the US border, not to mention the sexual violence and exploitation they are exposed to in the process.

COMMENT: Tragically, President Obama plays an indirect role in whatever misfortune befalls these kids in their arduous effort to reach the US border.  

“The president has not acted, Congress has not acted and the circumstances of the situation have not changed. There has been no legislation or change from the executive branch to eliminate the reasons why these youngster continue to stream into the US border,” Meacham said.

By August 31, 2014, the number of minors who had crossed the border unaccompanied was more than 66,000 in fiscal year 2014, which began on October 1, 2013.

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