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Opinion: Amid Central American violence, refugee rights must be respected

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By Scott Martelle, Contact Reporter, Los Angeles Times

April 1, 2016

 

Add immigration enforcement to the list of jobs the U.S. has partially out-sourced to Mexico, a move that seems to have made life even tougher for unaccompanied minors fleeing violence and gangs in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

 

As the U.S. faced a surge of unaccompanied minors crossing the Mexican border over the past couple of years, it developed counter-measures aimed at persuading the Central American kids and their families to stay home rather than gamble with the arduous and dangerous overland route to the U.S. Part of that response was to get the Mexican government to be more diligent at its own southern border and turn back children as they showed up there. That apparently was effective for a time. The Migration Policy Institute reports that:
“While apprehensions at the U.S. border fell, apprehensions in Mexico rose significantly, suggesting that outflows from Central America remained fairly stable throughout 2015; many migrants were apprehended by Mexican authorities before reaching the U.S. border. Indeed, though the combined apprehensions of Honduran, Salvadoran, and Guatemalan nationals by the United States and Mexico fell from 341,000 in FY 2014 to 301,000 in FY 2015, Mexico’s share of apprehensions increased from about 30 percent to 55 percent.”

 

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