President Barack Obama warned parents in Central America on Thursday that they are putting their kids in danger of being killed or turned into sex slaves by sending them to cross the U.S. border illegally.
In an interview with ABC News
, he said that even if the unaccompanied alien children do make it safely across the international line, they are eventually going to be sent back to their homeland.
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"Our message absolutely is, don't send your children unaccompanied, on trains or through a bunch of smugglers," Obama told ABC. "We don't even know how many of these kids don't make it, and may have been waylaid into sex trafficking or killed because they fell off a train.
"Do not send your children to the borders. If they do make it, they'll get sent back. More importantly, they may not make it."
From last October to June of this year, more than 50,000 unaccompanied minors, mainly from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, have flooded across
the Mexican border into Arizona and Texas.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry
warned this week that hundreds of immigrants, many of them children, could die in the desert while trying to cross into the United States this summer.
Under the current immigration laws, children from Mexico are returned immediately while kids from other countries are being sent to makeshift government detention centers before being released to the custody of relatives or foster families while waiting to be deported.
"If they come from a non-contiguous country, then there's a lengthy process," Obama told ABC.
Republicans have said that Obama’s immigration policies are to blame for the surge that has led to a humanitarian crisis in recent weeks as overwhelmed Border Patrol agents and Department of Health and Human Services officials struggle to deal with the massive number of illegals kids and adults.
In 2012, Obama established a program allowing certain migrant minors to stay in the U.S. illegally with provisional legal status, but kids crossing the border now are not eligible, The Hill
While denying that his policies have created the crisis, Obama told ABC that the immigration influx is the result of "the desperation and the violence that exists in some of these Central American countries."
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