FROM THE JULY 9, 2014 ISSUE
What Should Be Done About Child Migrants?
The Obama administration says U.S. agents have picked up some 52,000 unaccompanied children at the southern border this fiscal year, twice the 2013 number. Citing the high costs of dealing with the influx, Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) last month suggested cutting off aid and repealing free-trade agreements with Mexico and Central American countries to spur them to do more, while other congressional leaders cast the issue as a humanitarian crisis. What is behind the spike in unaccompanied children crossing the border? What should the United States and countries of origin do about the situation? How seriously is the issue affecting relations between the United States and its neighbors?
Arturo Sarukhan, board member of the Inter-American Dialogue and former Mexican ambassador to the United States: "There’s no doubt that we are now facing a grave crisis on the Mexico-U.S. border with unaccompanied migrant children. It is rooted in the inability of the U.S. Congress to move forward in accomplishing comprehensive immigration reform; in the political and public opinion unwillingness in Mexico and other nations in Central America to recognize that they are also co-responsible for finding holistic solutions to trans-border flows; and in the failure of all nations, from the United States all the way down to the Central American republics, of jointly developing a paradigm over these years of legislative impasse to address migrant flows holistically, regionally and in a forward-leaning fashion. But equally troubling is the bumper-sticker language that has arisen in certain corners of the public debate in the United States regarding this humanitarian and public policy challenge. Terms like ‘surge,’ ‘illegal children’ or ‘invasion’ that have peppered news coverage in certain media outlets and statements by lawmakers and local officials point to a lack of..." MORE
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