Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Providing Safe Passage to Unaccompanied Children from Central America

Photo (Courtesy) http://frontporchphilosopher.wordpress.com/2014/07/11/claims-of-compassion-and-racism-on-immigration-policy/

Overview of Current Situation

Central American children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are migrating to the United States alone in record numbers. While not a new phenomenon, the number of children who are making the perilous journey alone has increased exponentially—6,775, on average, arrived between 2003—20111, and upwards of 90,000 are projected to arrive in Fiscal Year 2014 (October 1, 2013—September 30, 2014)

2. A delegation of the United States

Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) traveled to Central America in November 2013 and reported in Mission to Central America: The Flight of Unaccompanied Children to the United States that multiple interrelated factors are contributing to the increase in forced child migration. Some of these factors include: a lack of strong social institutions and civil society support, abuse in the family stemming from pressure on family units due to violence and family separation, a lack of viable economic and educational opportunities, and environmental factors affecting crop production. However, the delegation reported that “one overriding factor has played a decisive and forceful role in recent years: generalized violence at the state and local levels and a corresponding breakdown of the rule of law have threatened citizen security and created a culture of fear and hopelessness.”3


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