News / USA

Honduran President Links Border Crisis to US Policy Divide

FILE - Honduras' President Juan Orlando Hernandez addresses audience at Conference on Unaccompanied Child Migrants, Tegucigalpa, July 16, 2014.
FILE - Honduras' President Juan Orlando Hernandez addresses audience at Conference on Unaccompanied Child Migrants, Tegucigalpa, July 16, 2014.
Reuters

U.S. lawmakers' inability to reach an agreement on immigration policy is at least partly to blame for a crisis that has seen thousands of children flee Honduras for the U.S. border, Honduran President Juan Hernandez said on Thursday.

Human and drug traffickers are “perversely” exploiting confusion about U.S. immigration policy, Hernandez told reporters on Capitol Hill, flanked by Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina and U.S. House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, before a meeting with House Democrats.

Traffickers encourage Central Americans to risk the dangerous journey north by telling them that U.S. policy allows them to stay in the United States.

Hernandez, Perez Molina and El Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren are scheduled to meet on Friday with U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to discuss ways to stop the flow of children migrating from the three Central American countries.

An estimated 90,000 “unaccompanied minors” are projected to show up at the U.S. border with Mexico this year, hoping to escape gang violence, poverty and domestic abuse and join relatives in the United States.

The children have overwhelmed U.S. resources at the Texas-Mexico border and are also creating a political problem for Obama, who has long been pushing for changes to U.S. immigration policy.

The U.S. Senate, controlled by Obama's Democrats, last year passed a comprehensive immigration bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for nearly 12 million undocumented residents, some of whom are now encouraging their children in Central America to come to the United States.

But the legislative effort died amid opposition from House Republicans.

Hernandez, speaking in Spanish through a translator, called “coyote” drug smugglers “an enormous criminal hulk” and said that while many operate in Central America and Mexico, others are “firmly planted ... in the United States under American jurisdiction.”

The criminal gangs prey upon children in Central America, threatening violence and death if they refuse to join their gangs. But they also promise to bring children to the United States - for a large fee - to be reunited with their relatives.

U.S. officials are pushing the governments of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, home to most of the migrant children, to do more to get the message out that they will not be allowed to stay in the United States.

The U.S. Congress is deeply divided over Obama's request for $3.7 billion in emergency funding to help address the crisis.

Both the Senate and Republican-controlled House are considering cutting the funding level. But Republicans also want to attach changes to a 2008 anti-trafficking law that would let Obama deport the children more quickly, which would discourage the illegal migration.

Democrats say any such move must be considered separately from the emergency funds. Pelosi, who opposes changing the 2008 law, said attention needs to be paid to the children's humanitarian needs and “due process” in their deportation proceedings.

You May Like

Tunnel Bombs Highlight Savagery of Aleppo Fight

Rebels have used tunneling tactic near government buildings, command posts or supply routes to set off explosives; they detonated their largest bomb this week under Syria's intelligence headquarters More

Sierra Leone Launches New Initiative to Stop Ebola Spread

Government hopes Infection and Prevention Control Units, IPC, will help protect patients and healthcare workers More

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Not Again from: Canada
July 24, 2014 11:35 PM
Blaming the US for the corruption, mismanagment, lack of competence, lack of land reform, lack of will...etc in Honduras, hits a new low.
In the 1940s to the 1960' US involvement, to attempt to modernize, manage, industralize, improve the economies of Centro and South America , was called flagrant imperialism. I remember the signs "Yanki go home". It was clear then and now that many of those countries' leaders could not manage to tie their own shoes laces.
US companies left those countries, in fairly good condition, law and order were in place, the countries were reasonably safe. I spent time in some of them, they looked like they had bright futures, the sky was the limit.
It is clear that they, the leaders, can't manage their countries, they need to change the political systems; and probably the people will do so soon, once they wake up, and realize they have countries with rich potentials, but very poor leaders.
No worse case in point, of the rapid decline after US Cos left, than Venezuala, once a very developed, very rich country, now they can't even keep their electrical power on for one day without a few long blackouts. It is POOR LEADERSHIP, and not the state of a US law..
They should model/emulate themselves after Costa Rica, or Chile; roll up their sleeves and start working until they achieve security, human rights and economic development; it takes hard work; blaming the US, or any other country, for their lack of development is useless, and will not work to resolve their systemic problems..

by: Ron Bell
July 24, 2014 8:49 PM
"The U.S. Senate, controlled by Obama's Democrats, last year passed a comprehensive immigration bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for nearly 12 million undocumented residents, some of whom are now encouraging their children in Central America to come to the United States." And they are trying to say Obama's policies aren't the cause of this?? And now he wants to give "the children" "refugee status" so he won't have to deport them all the while "the children" are not showing up for their "immigration hearings" now there is a surprise!! Not really..

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960s Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More