In response to the current humanitarian crisis evidenced by the unprecedented number of Central American child migrants seeking refuge in the United States, this week the Obama Administration announced it will ask Congress for $2 billion in new funds to further escalate its border-control policies. The administration’s plan is to fast-track the detention and deportation of these children by jointly demanding “additional authority to exercise discretion,” thereby undoing the Bush-era laws delaying child deportation proceedings. Meanwhile the U.S. government maintains the majority of these children in deplorable detention conditions at the border.
As vastly documented, the current “surge” of child migrants is a direct result of U.S. foreign and neoliberal policies in Central America. Implemented over decades, these policies have led to a dearth of opportunities for upward mobility, debilitated national economies, failed government structures, and an escalated drug-war fueled by drug consumption in the U.S. Children in Central America experience this most directly as increased social violence. As U.S. citizens, residents, concerned civilians, organizations, community, legal experts, and families of the detained and deported, we have a moral responsibility to demand that the United States government halt traumatizing and further damaging the already scarred lives of these child migrants. We ask that the children be reunited with their families, that deportations stop, and that we take humanitarian –rather than ruthless– steps towards solving this humanitarian crisis.
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