An estimated 52,000 unaccompanied children have entered the United States from Central America since October. President Barack Obama has asked Congress for $3.7B to improve security along the border, provide better housing for the undocumented immigrants while in custody and to speed up the deportation process.
Despite the horrible conditions these children are attempting to escape, conditions that include extreme poverty and violence, the White House has said that “they expect most will ultimately be repatriated,” despite the fact that about 60% of children coming over from Central America are eligible for some kind of humanitarian protection, according to a report from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
While the problem before us must be handled immediately, it cannot be addressed without first examining it’s root causes. While our American elected officials and media would like to make us all believe that this issue is unrelated to American behavior and that it is simply the result of the inability of Central American countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to protect their borders and reduce through policing their crime the truth is quite the opposite. This immigration issue that the United States is currently facing is the result of American economic and military intervention in Central America.
For decades the United States has toppled governments in Central America, fueled civil wars and most recently has escalated the War on Drugs within countries in Central America. The connection between the United States foreign policy and it’s current immigration problem cannot be ignored, every action has an effect and due to the actions taken by the United States in the past, we today see families from all over Central America attempt to flee the violence that the United States was instrumental in creating.