Last Friday, the Los Angeles Times reported on a key ruling by a U.S. federal judge who in coming days plans to order the release of hundreds of immigrant women and children from holding facilities in the United States. Most of those immigrants originated from Latin American countries.
Pro-immigrant advocates in the U.S. say that if programs to repatriate child migrants from Central America are badly designed, only the smugglers will benefit.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has described the traffickers who packed their human cargo into the boat as akin to 18th-century slave traders. Hundreds of the victims, including an unknown number of children, will have died in hellish circumstances having been locked in the hold or the middle deck of the 20-meter boat.
Some 11,000 migrants have been rescued since the middle of last week alone and current trends suggest last year's total of 170,000 landing in Italy is likely to be exceeded in 2015. The issue of who handles these migrants -- for asylum or repatriation -- is hugely sensitive, with Italy complaining that its E.U. partners are not doing enough.
The new policy applies to children from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador who face harm from violence and other dangers. Admission is also possible for spouses and grandchildren of immigrants in some cases.
An estimated two million Guatemalan immigrants living in the United States are undocumented, but not even the Guatemalan government knows the actual number, immigration attorney Pablo Solares claimed.
U.S. President Barack Obama's administration hopes to increase funding to Central America to $1 billion next year as part of a drive to boost relations with southern neighbors, bolster security and stem illegal immigration.
JUTIAPA, Guatemala – The small village of Horcones sits at the end of a pothole-filled road in Jutiapa, in southeastern Guatemala. Here, about 40 percent of the population is dedicated to raising livestock, earning an income that isn’t reflected in the wealth of the whitewashed, Grecian-columned houses that are found in this farming community.
“You can have a million soldiers at the border, and you’ll be shocked how many people will still get into the United States. That’s why investing in our economy is better than concentrating exclusively on security. The more we develop Central America, the better it’ll be for the United States," says Guatemalan foreign minister.