Six months after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced plans to expand options for Central Americans fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries, those plans have yet to emerge.
"Injustice is radicalized in the young," Pope Francis said. "They are cannon fodder, persecuted and threatened when they try to flee the spiral of violence and the hell of drugs."
Groups that have called for stricter immigration limits have said the raids are long overdue, although they remain skeptical about whether the scale will be large enough to deter illegal immigration from Central America.
The government of El Salvador on Sunday offered advice to allay the worries of its citizens living illegally in the United States, where immigration authorities have vowed to crack down on undocumented residents.
A federal appeals court on Monday ruled against U.S. President Barack Obama's plan to shield up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation.
Twelve-year-old Noemi Álvarez, from Ecuador, took her life at a shelter in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico in March 2014, several days after she was raped, allegedly by traffickers.