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Central American Migrants via Prensa Libre

No, Central American children are not ‘fleeing for their lives’

The narrative about the Central American children by politicians and echoed in the mainstream media is that the reason for the sudden sharp increase in illegal immigration is due to the extreme violence in countries like Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. While the Department of Homeland Security cites violence and the poor economy for the surge, journalist Sharyl Attkisson rightly observes, “facts suggest an organized effort in these particular nations, as well as an established trafficking pipeline.”

While Central American countries are indeed extremely violent, the ongoing violence does not explain the sudden, massive surge of illegal immigrant children at the southern border.

It is far more likely that the people in Central American countries are responding to President Obama’s congress-bashing speech in the Rose Garden in June 2012, where he bypassed congress to offer “eligible individuals who do not present a risk to national security or public safety” the opportunity “…to request temporary relief from deportation proceedings and apply for work authorization.” The sweeping policy dealt with the “Dreamers,” or young illegal immigrants.

And as long as I’m President,” Obama declared during his speech, “I will not give up on this issue, not only because it’s the right thing to do for our economy — and CEOs agree with me — not just because it’s the right thing to do for our security, but because it’s the right thing to do, period.

Six months after Obama single-handedly changed the immigration law, a contract request for “escort services for unaccompanied alien children [UAC],” anticipated 65,000 undocumented children. In June, a similar contract request was posted at the website, under the heading “Transportation Services.” An accompanying “statement of work” sought to hire “escorts” for illegal children, revealing that at the time, over 5,000 “escorts” were already employed.

As an aside, it was reported earlier this month that President Obama is “preparing to announce new measures that would potentially allow millions of illegal immigrants to remain in the United States without fear of deportation…” as reported at the Washington Post.

Another reason for the surge is that citizens in Central American countries were responding to the reporting in their own newspapers. Geovanni Contreras, for example, wrote an article in the popular Guatemalan newspaper, the Prensa Libre in June of this year (translated) that said in part,

…the law prohibits the Department of Homeland Security to deport the children if they come from countries that do not border with that country, as in the case of Guatemala.

Interestingly, the commenters on Contreras’s article criticize parents for sending their children to the United States on such a journey. One commenter writes, (translated, so excuse the jagged language), “What you should do is expect Irresponsible Parents claim and deport them there together with their children .. For abuse Minors and put them at risk to make those trips danger.”

Chart tracking numbers of illegal alien children via Mother Jones
Chart tracking numbers of illegal alien children via Mother Jones

Back in December of 2012, the same journalist repeatedly tweeted a link to a White House Petition requesting “Temporary Protected Status to Guatemalans” in the United States due to earthquakes in the region.

While the mainstream media is framing the immigration surge as a humanitarian crisis, the truth is that citizens in Central America seem to have been manipulated by a political agenda.

The author had a personal conversation with a bilingual physician who was called to screen the surge of illegal immigrant children and teens between the ages of 12-17. The physician also treats children in Guatemala on relief missions. Based on conversations this doctor had with the teenagers, he came to the conclusion that the surge was “based on a rumor.” He also cited an editorial he personally saw in Guatemala that claimed if children could make it to the United States, they could stay.

According to a handout distributed to citizens on July 29 at the Holy Family Institute in Pennsylvania, where illegal children will be housed, “[M]ost [unaccompanied alien children] are over 14 and approximately three quarters of them are boys.”

About Renee Nal

Renee Nal is a creative political junkie and driven prolific writer. Renee’s main objectives are to expose media and academic bias and to contribute to a positive shift in culture.

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