With floods of illegal immigrant children and families from Central America crossing the border into the United States, reports about the situation in Spanish-language newspapers do not appear to be doing much to discourage the practice.
“During their stay, in addition to accommodations and food, children receive English classes, play sports and participate in targeted programs while immigration authorities contact their families,” a translation of a June 7 article in La Prensa — a news publication in Honduras — about unaccompanied minors housed at a Port Hueneme naval base reads.
The article also notes “the children will be accommodated for between 3 and 4 months, while their parents or relatives are located in the United States.”
President Obama has declared the tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors crossing the border to be an “urgent humanitarian situation.” His Republican critics have argued that it is Obama’s policies — like the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — and rhetoric which have made it appear that illegal immigrants are welcome to come and stay.
Indeed, the translation of a June 5 article in a Honduran newspaper about the Department of Homeland Security’s renewal process for DACA creates the impression that any undocumented immigrant who came to the United States before the age of 16 without a criminal record and enrollment in a secondary education program is eligible for DACA.
The article, which appeared in El Salvador’s Diario El Mundo makes no mention of the fact that the program only applies to eligible undocumented youths that have been living continuously in the U.S. since June 15, 2007.
“Almost all of us agree that a child who crossed our border illegally with a parent, or in search of a parent or a better life, was not making an adult choice to break our laws, and should be treated differently than adult law-breakers,” Diario El Mundo quotes Johnson about renewal.
Meanwhile, an international Spanish language publication, Agencia EFE, ran a headline last week translated “Central Americans with children find free path to illegally enter the United States.”
The June 4 article quotes Guatemalan 24-year old Karina Robledo who observed women and children from Central America being allowed by immigration officials to enter the United States and then be released but not Mexican women.
“Most are entering that way. With four kids, three kids, almost the entire family and they have let the majority in. Some get court (documents) and some don’t get any paper and they say they don’t have the right to go to court,” Robledo told EFE.
The publication further advertised: “Many of these children are being considered because they are fleeing violence, drug war or poverty, the federal government said, adding that they also suffer harrowing experiences on their journey before being reunited with relatives already living in the United States. However, the government has stated that the idea is to manage a humanitarian situation and there is no guarantee that everyone will avoid deportation in the long run.”