Central America Newspapers Tout Open US Door for Illegal Minors
Wednesday, 11 Jun 2014 08:47 AM
By Todd Beamon
Newspapers in El Salvador and Honduras are promoting policies by the Obama administration that defer deportation to minors brought to the United States as children by their parents — known as "Dreamers" — and those that are housing illegal children at military bases in the South and West.
"Almost all agree that a child who crossed the border illegally with their parents, or in search of a father or a better life, was not making an adult choice to break our laws, and should be treated differently than adult violators of the law," Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is quoted in a story about a new two-year extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy published by Diario El Mundo in El Salvador.
Signed by President Barack Obama in 2012, the policy grants temporary legal status to many young illegal immigrants, ending the threat of deportation for at least two years.
The policy, however, does not entitle the immigrants to state services. It was renewed for two more years.
"With the renewal of DACA, we act according to our values and code of this great nation," Johnson said. "But the biggest task of comprehensive immigration reform is yet to come."
Meanwhile, La Prensa of Honduras discusses in a report how as many as 500 illegal minors are being housed at the Naval Base Ventura County in Southern California.
"The children will be accommodated for between three and four months, while their parents or relatives are located in the United States," the report says.
"The administration of President Barack Obama has acknowledged he faces a serious crisis for the continuous arrival of children, mostly Central Americans, who are illegally entering the country on the border with Mexico."
Besides Mexico and Honduras, the report notes that many of the children are coming from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.
"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," the La Prensa report says.
On Monday, the Obama administration said that it would begin housing as many as 1,200 illegal minors at the Army base in Fort Sill in Oklahoma.
The plan was attacked last week by Oklahoma Republicans, who accused the administration of not giving them sufficient notice and that it would strain limited resources.
A similar shelter for that has accommodated about 1,820 minors over nearly four weeks has been operating at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
Housing the illegals cost American taxpayers $252 per child per day.
The deluge of illegal immigrants is causing a burden on the border states of Texas and Arizona, and officials have been transporting children from south Texas to Arizona and leaving them at various locations, including holding centers and bus stations.
After widespread outrage by Arizona state and congressional officials, Homeland Security said it would stop dumping illegals in those states, even though officials say the practice has not stopped.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer last week sent emergency food and medical supplies to a makeshift holding center in the southern part of the state that was holding hundreds of illegal minors.
The Obama administration estimates that 60,000 children under 18 will enter the U.S. illegally alone this year. It's expected to grow to nearly 130,000 next year.