News / Americas

Illegal Child Immigrants Fleeing Central America for US

FILE - A Border Patrol agent stands on a ranch fence line with children taken into custody in South Texas brush country north of Laredo, Texas.
FILE - A Border Patrol agent stands on a ranch fence line with children taken into custody in South Texas brush country north of Laredo, Texas.
Ken Bredemeier
Hundreds of unaccompanied children from Central America have entered the U.S. illegally in recent days, overwhelming American border authorities.

White House officials said Monday most of the children have crossed the Mexican border into the southwestern U.S. state of Texas, fleeing high crime and poverty in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

U.S. border officials in Texas have been ill-equipped to handle the influx and transported many of the children to facilities two states away, in Arizona. The officials said that even though the government has started deportation proceedings against the children to return them to their home countries, it also is looking for more space to house them while the specific details of their cases are considered.

By law, the U.S. has 72 hours to try to determine the personal circumstances of each of the children, such as whether they have parents already living in the U.S. and could be reunited. But the officials said the number of child immigrants has "very dramatically" increased in recent days, leading to delays in the processing.

Hundreds of the children have been kept in a makeshift dormitory: a U.S. immigration warehouse in Nogales, Arizona, just north of the Mexican border.

The White House officials said the children have been given food and water, and shower facilities.

President Barack Obama has called the plight of the children "an urgent humanitarian situation."

The influx of Central American children is occurring as the U.S. is in the midst of a contentious debate over immigration policies.  Obama has called for comprehensive immigration policy changes that could eventually permit 11 million immigrants already in the country illegally to gain U.S. citizenship over a period of years.

But many of Obama's Republican opponents in Congress say that amounts to amnesty for lawbreakers; they have so far thwarted passage of immigration reforms.

You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Urbanization Can Bring Health Risks

Researchers warn of increase in heart disease, diabetes
More

US Restricts Travel by Venezuelan Government Officials

Restriction to apply to officials the State Department links to human rights abuses in government crackdown on protest and dissent
More

US Sanctions Venezuelan Officials for Rights Violations

State Department official would not publicly identify individuals because of visa record confidentiality
More

Time Almost Up for Argentina, US Bondholders in Debt Talks

South American nation has until end of Wednesday to either pay in full 'holdout' hedge funds, cut a deal or win a stay on court order that triggeered deadline
More

Football Star's Stepfather Kidnapped, Released

Lawyer for family of Argentina's Carlos Tevez said player's stepfather appeared to be unharmed
More

Video Young Migrants From Central America Risk Life and Limb to Get to US

For tens of thousands of young people trip north is fraught with hardship and danger
More