Trying to understand the current surge of unaccompanied minors trying to get to the U.S. from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador is–for me, at least–like visiting Alice’s Wonderland. What are “facts” depends on who is reporting them. And what should be done is even more subject to who is talking.
A helpful article is “Confronting the Central American Refugee Crisis” by Marta Sanchez-Soler of the Center for International Policy The Americas Program, based in Mexico City. (http://www.cipamericas.org/archives/12441)
Most importantly, Sanchez-Soler gets to the root of the crisis: “The current crisis is the product of the lethal mix of US immigration policies, the hardening of border control, militarization, and regional economic models that displace small farmers and urban workers.”
Sanchez-Soler concludes that the children and families desperately trying to get out of Central America–and not just to the U.S. but to surrounding countries including Nicaragua, Belize, Mexico and others–must be defined as refugees and treated under the measures of extreme emergency laid out in international law. They clearly meet the definition of refugees: “[T]hey find themselves in a situation where they cannot stay and have nowhere to go, are extorted by organized crime and corrupt government officials, kidnapped and executed in the transit countries, and detained without defense and deported if they manage to arrive in the country of destination.”
Many of the causes of the current crisis are detailed in the CoFiA video, “Why I Am Here/Porque Estoy Aqui.” For information about the video or to arrange a screening, call 201-833-1737.