US Secretary of State Kerry urges Central America cooperation on child migrants

July 1, 2014
10 Comments

PANAMA CITY – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated Tuesday Washington’s calls for Central American cooperation in addressing the plight of tens of thousands of illegal child migrants making their way to the United States.

The rapid surge in unaccompanied children making the dangerous journey, most of them from Central America, has prompted U.S. officials to talk of a “humanitarian crisis” and to issue reminders the vast majority of the minors will be deported.

Kerry met with Salvadoran President Salvador Sánchez Cerén and Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina, plus Honduran Foreign Minister Mireya Aguero in Panama City.

“The lives of children cannot be put at risk in this way and we all have a responsibility as leaders to do our part in order to solve this problem, and we will,” Kerry said.

“We obviously understand people who want to be able to do better, to look for a better life. But at the same time, there are rules of law,” he added.

And he cautioned that “there is false information that is being spread about benefits that might be available to these young people who are looking for that better life.”

Kerry declined to say whether the United States would heed calls from Central America for U.S. authorities to focus on reunifying families whenever possible.

Central American authorities yesterday said they would ask Kerry to allow children immigrants to stay if their parents were already in the country.

Since October, 52,000 unaccompanied children aged under 17 have been detained crossing the border, twice the number from the same period a year ago.

U.S. President Barack Obama Monday lodged a request with Congress for $2 billion to cope with the tide of undocumented child immigrants.

The sudden flow has injected new venom into the debate between Obama and House Republicans over his calls for a sweeping reform of the U.S. immigration system.

“We understand this problem from all its dimensions and are willing to work together with the U.S. government to look for a quick and appropriate solution aimed at the problem not growing,” Guatemala’s Pérez Molina said.

El Salvador’s Sánchez Cerén, meanwhile, said that the problem stems from “people linked to crime” who “deceive parents that upon arrival in the United States, reunification will be a reality.”

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Five things I learned while watching the sun set over El Clásico
Soccer
830 views
Soccer
830 views

Five things I learned while watching the sun set over El Clásico

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 22, 2018

TIBÁS — It’s difficult to enjoy a spectacular sunset while the concrete grandstand of a 50-year-old stadium shakes haphazardly under…

The Tico Times Weekly Digest: Oct. 22, 2018
Tico Times Weekly Digest
429 views
Tico Times Weekly Digest
429 views

The Tico Times Weekly Digest: Oct. 22, 2018

Alexander Villegas - October 22, 2018

It's Monday everyone. That means it's time for another dose of The Tico Times Weekly Digest. This week's Digest is…

This week in the Peace Corps: Lessons from indigenous communities in Limón province
Changemakers
901 views
Changemakers
901 views

This week in the Peace Corps: Lessons from indigenous communities in Limón province

Crystal / Regional Peace Corps Leader - October 22, 2018

After four years with Peace Corps Costa Rica, I am reflective about living and working in indigenous communities throughout Limón…