AirTalk for July 16, 2014

Feds deportation of children back to Central America spotlights ambiguous policy

HONDURAS-MEXICO-US-MIGRATION-CHILDREN

ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images

A young girl waits for her family upon arriving to San Pedro Sula, 240 kms north of Tegucigalpa, on July 2, 2014, after being deported from the US. Thousands of unaccompanied children, most of them from Central America, have trekked to the United States in recent months and now face deportation in what the United States has called a humanitarian crisis.

Monday, a chartered plane carrying children and mothers deported from the US landed in the Honduran capital of San Pedro Sula.

In the past, many Central American deportees were added to commercial flights, but Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reportedly will charter more flights in the coming weeks. Some legal analysts say the Obama Administration is violating the law when it refuses to give migrant minors an immigration hearing.

They cite a trafficking act reauthorized by then President George W. Bush in 2008. However, other analysis says the act only protects children with no family in the US who are the victim of trafficking, rather than voluntary migrants.

As this political fight roils in Washington, yesterday LA Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city would help shelter children detained after crossing the border. He said the city would use federal money to cover legal costs and rely on nonprofits to help establish the minors.

What would be the number of children Los Angeles could expect in light of such a policy? What criteria is ICE using to determine which children should be returned to Central American countries?

Guests:

Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies at Center for Immigration Studies

Xavier Rosas, Staff Attorney, CARECEN Central American Resource Center 

 


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