Obama to meet with Central American leaders to discuss border crisis
President Barack Obama will be meeting with the leaders of the Central American countries of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador next week to discuss cooperation on the influx of immigrants from their countries to the United States. This crisis has largely consumed the White House and the Obama administration in the last few weeks.
The four leaders, as well as Vice President Joe Biden, will gather at the White House to discuss the ongoing border crisis, wherein more than 52,000 undocumented Central American immigrants, mostly unaccompanied minors or women with young children, have crossed into the United States since October. Many are fleeing violence and instability in Central America, which has been riven by gang violence and hosts some of the world’s highest murder rates.
President Obama has asked Congress for nearly four billion dollars in emergency appropriations to cope with the surge of undocumented kids at the border, money that would go toward mounting operational costs and to speed up deportation proceedings. But House Speaker John Boehner has said it is unlikely Congress will agree on a measure to solve the ongoing humanitarian crisis before legislators leave for a month-long break in August, when funds allocated for the care of the migrant children will become depleted.
Republicans have been blaming Obama for the crisis, claiming that his immigration policies have encouraged the flood of minors to make the journey to the United States. However, the number of unaccompanied minors that are crossing the Rio Grande Valley into Texas has already started dropping off, an official told reporters on a conference call. In June, roughly 2,000 children were crossing the border on a weekly basis, but that number has since dropped below 1,000 and is continuing in that direction, he said.
United States information campaigns about the dangers of the journey for the children and clear policy statements that coming to the United States would not give the migrants a pathway to citizenship have supposedly contributed to the decrease in the number. Officials also claimed that the weather was a factor as traditionally fewer border crossings occur in the hotter summer months. Read more about the story here.