President Barack Obama will meet with Central American leaders next week to discuss the flood of illegal immigrant children originating from their countries who are unlawfully entering America.
Obama will meet with President Otto Perez Molina of Guatemala, President Juan Orlando Hernandez of Honduras, and President Salvador Sanchez Ceren of El Salvador on July 25 at the White House.
The White House announced that the four leaders and Vice President Joe Biden, who recently traveled to Central America to discourage migrants from making the journey to America, will discuss the border crisis and how their governments can cooperate “to promote safe, legal, and orderly migration between our countries in a spirit of shared responsibility, including with respect to the return of family units.”
They will also discuss how to address “the factors that are causing Central American citizens to undertake the dangerous journey to the United States” like gang violence, poverty, and the drug wars.
Since October of last year, nearly 60,000 illegal immigrant children have unlawfully entered the country. Federal officials expect at least 150,000 more to enter next year, and nearly 75% of those illegal immigrant children are from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
The number of illegal immigrant children entering the country has spiked since Obama enacted his temporary amnesty program for some DREAMers in 2012 even though the murder rate in Central American nations has declined since then.
The Obama administration has gone on a public relations blitz to discourage illegal immigrants from making the harrowing journey to America, but many migrants have said they decided to come to America anyway hoping to get “permisos” that would allow them to indefinitely remain in the United States. Migrants have told Border Patrol agents that the Obama administration’s words and actions led them to believe that they would not get deported if they made it across the border.
Central Americans also send billions in remittances back to their countries, and the Obama administration this week praised an agreement between Mexico and Guatemala that would enable more illegal immigrants to hop on board the so-called death trains to continue their journey to America.