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

Photogallery Strong Words Start, May End, S. African Xenophobic Attacks

President Jacob Zuma publicly condemned rise in attacks on foreign nationals but critics say leadership has been less than welcoming to foreign residents More

Video Family Waits to Hear Charges Against Reporter Jailed in Iran

Reports in Iran say Jason Rezaian has been charged with espionage, but brother tells VOA indictment has not been made public More

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Action to Stabilize Libya

Amnesty International says multinational concerted humanitarian effort must be enacted to address crisis; decrepit boats continue to bring thousands of new arrivals daily 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.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs