“We are directly responsible” for the ongoing crisis of unaccompanied children illegally entering the U.S., according to former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich.
“Look the minors that are coming from Central America are not coming for no reason. There is a surge because they are, many of them, if not most of them are refugees from a war. It’s a drug war. It’s a drug war that we are directly implicated in,” Reich told Fusion in an interview published Monday.
Since October more than 62,900 unaccompanied minors have been detained illegally entering the United States. The vast majority of the illegal immigrant minors are from Central America.
According to the former labor secretary, it is time to consider decriminalization of drugs as a way to confront the drug market.
“What we don’t talk about enough is the connection between that failed policy and all of these kids from Central America who are showing up on our border,” he said in his Fusion interview. “We’ve got to have a serious discussion in this country about decriminalizing and regulating these drugs rather than making them criminal, creating this black market that is increasingly violent and doing more and more damage in Central America.”
He added that the unaccompanied minors should be allowed to stay in the U.S. if they are found to be “refugees from the Drug War.”
“Those kids who are coming to the United States, if they are refugees from the Drug War, we ought to find out, very quickly have a hearing process to determine whether they are,” he said. “If they are it’s inhumane to sent them back if they’re going to be killed when they go back.”