President’s policy to give illegal immigrants chance to apply for work permits temporary reprieve from deportation.
Fleeing gangs, poverty and crime, tens of thousands of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras illegally enter the United States each year. Their families pay human smugglers thousands of dollars to take them to the border or they ride atop a Mexican freight train called “La Bestia” — the Beast — for its roaring wheels and growling engine. The northbound train runs from Arriaga, Mexico — near the Guatemalan border — to Ixtepec, Mexico. Many immigrants have fallen off the train during the 12-plus-hour trip to their deaths or severed limbs. (Sioux City Journal)
This fall, the Obama administration touted its success in curbing the number of unaccompanied minors entering the United States following a one-year record that saw 68,541 new arrivals, most from violence-ridden Central America. But at nonprofits providing legal and other services to undocumented children, the work is just ramping up. And groups are grappling with an array of pressures, including needs for increased staffing, additional office space, supplemental training, and intensified fundraising efforts. (Chronicle of Philanthropy)
Since 2009, UNHCR has registered an increased number of asylum-seekers – both children and adults – from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala lodging claims in the Americas region. The United States recorded the largest number of new asylum applications out of all countries of asylum, having receiving 85% of the total of new applications brought by individuals from these three countries in 2012.
Congress has maintained a strong interest in developments in El Salvador, a small Central American country with a population of 6 million. During the 1980s, El Salvador was the largest recipient of U.S. aid in Latin America as its government struggled against the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) insurgency during a 12-year civil war.
Since the 1980s, Guatemala, the most populous country in Central America with a population of 15.5 million, has continued its transition from centuries of mostly autocratic rule toward representative government. A democratic constitution was adopted in 1985, and a democratically elected government was inaugurated in 1986. A violent 36-year civil war ended in 1996. This report provides an overview of Guatemala’s current political and economic conditions, relations with the United States, and several issues likely to figure in future decisions by Congress and the Administration regarding Guatemala. With respect to continued cooperation and foreign assistance, these issues include security and governance; protection of human rights and human rights conditions on some U.S. military aid to Guatemala; support for the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala; combating narcotics trafficking and organized crime; trade relations; intercountry adoption; and unaccompanied children at the U.S. border.
Approximately 28 percent of Latin American immigration into the United States comes from Guatemala. It is the second largest group of immigrants after El Salvador at 41 percent. While we can spend a lot of time analyzing statistics, it is impossible to know what these people face on a daily basis that drives them to seek refuge in America. … While walking back to our hotel one afternoon, we were forcefully mugged and the experience is one that I cannot even describe. … The same evening as we sat in our hotel contemplating the extremity of the situation in Guatemala, we heard a woman screaming from across the alley. A downstairs neighbor called for the police, but when they had arrived it was too late. The woman had been murdered over a dangerous drug deal.
Why don’t these children and their families qualify for refugee status? Is this a humanitarian crisis? When is anti-immigrant sentiment expressed, and why? Listen to two Texas State University professors discuss possible answers.
ver July 4th weekend in Chicago, 82 people were shot in a span of 84 hours, 14 of them fatally. Mayor Rahm Emanuel called it “simply unacceptable.” The police commissioner described it as “Groundhog Day.” And an op-ed columnist in the Tribune wrote, “Although the July Fourth holiday was particularly bloody, what’s even more disturbing is how ordinary the killing and maiming has become.” But even Chicago’s horrific weekend doesn’t compare to the violence in the Central American countries that child migrants are now fleeing, contributing to the humanitarian crisis along the United States’s southern border.
Although all the unaccompanied children who illegally crossed the border into the United States and were brought to Louisiana are living with sponsors or family members, it’s still costing the state and local governments millions of dollars in unexpected expenses to care for them.