News / USA

Kerry Seeks Central America’s Help on Immigration Crisis

Guatemala’s President Otto Perez Molina, left, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry discuss immigration while in Panama City, July 1, 2014.
Guatemala’s President Otto Perez Molina, left, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry discuss immigration while in Panama City, July 1, 2014.
Alex Villarreal

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on Central American nations to address a growing immigration crisis that has seen thousands of unaccompanied children arrive illegally across the U.S. border.

Kerry met Tuesday in Panama City with the presidents of El Salvador and Guatemala and the foreign minister of Honduras. The officials were gathered in Panama for the inauguration of the country's new president, Juan Carlos Varela, but used the opportunity to discuss the immigration issue.

Appearing alongside the Central American leaders, Kerry acknowledged the region's struggles with violence and poverty. He said the U.S. understands people who want to look for a better life. But he said the children flooding the U.S. border are being "exploited" and "put in great danger."

"There are rules of law and there is a process, and there is false information that is being spread about benefits that might be available to these young people who are looking for that better life,” Kerry said.

“We need to work together to communicate to our people, to try to apply the law, and most importantly, to work with each of these countries to address the fundamental, underlying causes of this particular challenge."

Most of the children who have crossed into the United States recently have come from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

El Salvador's President Salvador Sánchez Cerén said the three countries already have taken some measures since they learned of the situation.

Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina said the three nations' foreign ministers will visit Washington this week. He said there are also discussions about joint meetings among the three countries on security programs, as well as economic teams to generate investment and employment opportunities — a step he said "helps to avoid this type of immigration."

Strained resources

The arrival of so many children has overwhelmed U.S. immigration officials, but under U.S. law the immigrants cannot be immediately sent back to their home countries. Some of the children may be reunited with parents already living in the United States.

President Barack Obama, meanwhile, is asking Congress for new authority to deport such children.

In a letter to congressional leaders Monday, Obama said the U.S. has the "legal and moral obligation" to care for the 52,000 unaccompanied children and 39,000 women with children who have crossed into the United States along its southwestern border with Mexico since October.

But he asked Congress for new funding that could total $2 billion for an "aggressive deterrence strategy" to carry out deportations and curb the migration.

Immigration debate rekindled

In the United States, the situation has reignited the political debate over immigration.

Republicans say Obama's moves to ease immigration rules have encouraged Central Americans to flee violence in their countries and make the risky trip to the U.S.

But Obama puts the blame on Republicans for refusing to pass legislation to reform the U.S. immigration system.

And the president is now pledging to act without Congress. He said Monday he has asked Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder for recommendations on possible executive actions he could take.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: maagat from: los angeles
July 08, 2014 11:06 AM
I am glad educated men like Kerry are running things and not the bitter entitled people from these forums. Meeting with the leaders of those countries is smart. They need foreign pressure to be accountable for the growth and prosperity in their lands. They need to legalize abortions so that the children that are born have a fighting chance. They need to invest in their universities so that the young can stimulate the local economy by having a skilled working force.

by: David John Francis
July 03, 2014 5:20 PM
July 3.

GOD HELP AMERICA!

It’s not entirely about the influx of thousands of illegal aliens stressing the border regions, especially along the Texas area. It’s more about the colossal sideline effects of once these foreign nationals arriving and getting to stay. its incomprehensible results of adding millions more through the “Anchor Baby” issue. This issue refers to U.S-born children of illegal immigrants used to 'anchor' the parents in this country. Unlike the majority of other countries, Washington has refused to amend, not change the 14th Amendment. Once these illegal aliens get documented then they can petition to have the rest of the family to enter the United States. It’s a simple as that? Anchor Baby syndrome is a gross violation of the law, a law that was the originated with 19th century slavery and freedom. In the aftermath of the Civil War, many newly freed slaves were struggling in attempting to establish their status. Free slaves were still deficient of many of the same rights as Whites; these African-Americans were still fighting in a political nightmare, specifically true in Southern ex-slave states, refusing to guarantee even fundamental human rights to black Americans. This dilemma was finally resolved by Congress passing the 14th Amendment. The 14th Amendment exacted, its first article, recognizing the unparalleled policy of birthright citizenship in this young nation, that any male child, born on American soil, could claim all the rights of citizenship. It was a risky business at the time, but its course marked an enormous step in the removing national racism.


Unfortunately the 14th amendment has been perverted with today’s modern interpretation and has been subject to massive exploitation, with illegal aliens and “Overstays” manipulating the wording to assist their own settlement here. In the last decades the Democrats edged on by the so-called Liberal Progressives have mutated the amendment of its own use. All those who have illegally slipped across the border unseen or arrived on aircraft, then undetectable as pregnant females, disguised as foreign tourists have proceeded to the overcrowded waiting rooms of maternity hospitals, with unspecified. This loophole has seen hordes of pregnant nationals calculatedly giving birth on American soil, in order to guarantee citizenship for their progeny, and therefore potentially them, with family following on—illegally or not? So once the offspring is afforded U.S. citizens, they become eligible to sponsor for legal immigration most of their relatives, including their illegal alien mothers, when they turn 21 years of age, thus becoming the U.S. "anchor" for an extended immigrant family. The mother can get a U.S. birth certificate once the child is born and passport for the child, and their future link to this country is established and irrevocable.

by: Mary Holt from: Cushing, Ok
July 02, 2014 12:18 AM
You do not need there help, just drop them back in there own countries. This is an attempt to bankrupt America so let them pay for some of the mess they helped Odummer create.

by: meanbill from: USA
July 02, 2014 12:02 AM
CRAZY isn't it? -- America with the (NSA) spying, and the US Homeland Security Department greatest surveillance equipment in the world, with hundreds of miles of fences, and killer drones patrolling from the air, and hundreds of thousands of border guards, can't stop thousands of illegal South Americans and criminal drug smugglers, from crossing the US and Mexican border, and entering the US illegally every week?.... (EVERY WEEK?).... Now that's crazy, isn't it?

PS; And the US and EU blames Russia, for not sealing their borders with Ukraine? (And Europe?) Boatloads of Africans and North Africans are flooding the European countries, and they can't seal their borders either, can they? .... Crazy isn't it, that the US and EU demand Russia do, what they can't do?....

NEXT, the (ISIL) Sunni Muslim "Emir of the Believers" and the "Caliph of the whole Islamic World" al-Baghdadi, will tell (all the Muslims) to go to America, if they can't find how to get to his Caliphate, in the sands of the "Islamic State" in Fantasyland?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs