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The Crisis of Central American Refugee Children Fleeing to the US

There has never been such an exodus of refugee children fleeing from Central America like we are seeing at the U.S. border this year. Drugs, extreme violence, and poverty are all factors that are pushing these children to flee from Central America to the U.S.

The homicide rates in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are some of the highest in the world, with Honduras in first place. The immigration situation of refugee children has become a hot topic in news circles. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, they estimate that 90,000 immigrant children will have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border by the end of September of this year.

Here are some recent quotes from Washington regarding the situation:

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said it’s unacceptable for the federal government to push children through “our complicated legal system, terrified, alone, without a lawyer, only to be summarily deported back into the very danger they fled. I will do everything I can to prevent such a travesty.”

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) referred to the flood of refugee children arriving in the U.S. as an “invasion of our nation,” and added that “there are more people coming across the border than invaded France in World War II.”

“Our involvement in Central America has not been a very positive one over the last 60 years,” said Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas).

Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) said, “This is a humanitarian crisis that we are facing on our southern border and we need to respond.”

The Obama Administration announced it will set aside $161.5 million this year to support programs for the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), saying the programs “are critical to enabling Central American countries to respond to the region’s most pressing security and governance challenges.” The statement reads, “Our assistance will help stem migration flows as well as address the root cause of the migration.”

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said children who have been detained “will go through the immigration court process” and it’s unlikely that most of them will qualify for asylum to stay in the United States.

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