Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 10:49 am
The State Department launched a program this month that creates a safe passage to the United States from Central America. It would give some U.S.-based Latino parents the chance to bring over children they left in their home countries.
More than 57,000 child migrants made the trip across the U.S.-Mexican border this year. Many report being physically and sexually abused along the harrowing journey.
Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández dropped by the U.S. Southern Command in Miami this week to talk about security in Central America. Or the utter lack of security in Central America. Honduras has the highest murder rate on Earth, and things are almost as deadly in neighboring Guatemala and El Salvador.
That’s why the Southcom visit was a nifty photo op for Hernández – who'd like the world to believe that he’s having to wage a war with vicious narco-gangs solely because Americans have an insatiable appetite for drugs.
The country is grappling with how to handle the influx of Central American children who have come to the United States over the past few months. And as Central America has become more and more violent, more families have been coming to South Florida too.
Over the last year more than 55,000 families were apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border. That’s almost six times more than the same time period a year ago.
Florida is one of the top five states receiving this influx of immigrants.
Both President Obama and his Republican opposition had been patting themselves on the back of late for making the 2,000-mile-long frontera between the United States and Mexico more forbidding for undocumented migrants. Fewer and fewer had been crossing each year, because of beefed-up border security and because Obama had made a policy of deporting indocumentados in record numbers.
And then a bunch of Central American kids had to spoil the celebration.