Honduran President: US Policy Partly to Blame for Border Crisis

Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 09:10 PM

By Greg Richter

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The president of Honduras lays part of the blame for the border crisis on an unclear immigration policy of the United States.

"Among other things, there's a lack of clarity in the migratory policy of the United States," Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez said Thursday on Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."

"The language is ambiguous. That's why the coyotes, the human smugglers take advantage of this situation," Hernandez said through an interpreter.

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Republican critics have accused President Barack Obama of signaling amnesty for children from non-border countries with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012. The action allowed prosecutorial discretion for certain children in the country illegally.

Democrats point back to the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, passed by Congress in a bipartisan effort and signed by President George W. Bush. The law was intended to keep illegal immigrant children from being deported back into the hands of sex traffickers.

Hernandez said that parents who have been in the United States illegally for years have been told by smugglers that changes in U.S. immigration law will allow their children to be granted legal status if they arrive alone or with their mother.

This, combined with danger in their home countries, encourages parents to pay drug cartels to smuggle their children through Mexico to the U.S. border. Hernandez said some of the children who met with his wife recently told them that the smugglers give the females birth control pills because they know that 70 percent of them will be sexually abused on the journey.

Others never make it to the United States because they are killed or kidnapped and forced into prostitution.

"Nobody wants children to go through this," Hernandez said.

Most of the children are coming from a drug route between South America and North America, Hernandez said, "and we are in the way." There are few opportunities, forcing them to flee if they don't want to join gangs, become prostitutes or be killed.

Hernandez is meeting with Obama on Friday, along with the presidents of Guatemala and El Salvador, the other two countries with children flooding the border. Hernandez said they will ask Obama and Congress to help with a plan for economic recovery in Central America, which includes reduction in violence, educational opportunities, and clarification of U.S. immigration policy.


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