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Obama to Meet With Central American Leaders for Immigration Talks

  • VOA News

U.S. President Barack Obama will meet next week at the White House with the presidents of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador to talk about the surge of child immigrants across the U.S. border.

The White House said that Obama has invited Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, and Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren to discuss the influx next Friday.

U.S. officials have been urging the Central American governments to do more to reduce the exodus of unaccompanied children trying to illegally enter the United States. The child migrants have triggered a political and border crisis in the United States.

On Friday, the U.S. deported another group of Central American migrants, including children, from the southwestern state of New Mexico.

The Obama administration is seeking to deport more than 50,000 children to their home countries, where many of them fled impoverished and crime-ridden communities but also were drawn to the U.S. by rumors that they could stay if they got into the country. The United States says they are unlikely to qualify for humanitarian relief to remain.

The U.S. Senate a year ago approved immigration reforms that would have allowed the 11 million immigrants already in the country illegally to eventually obtain U.S. citizenship. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives is opposed, though. and says it will not vote on the issue this year.

Earlier this month, the president asked Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency funding to deal with the immigration surge of unaccompanied children.