Sunday, February 12, 2012

U.S. returned over 14,000 undocumented children to Mexico in 2011, says INM

Immigration to the United States by undocumented, unescorted children from Mexico and Central American hot spots (principally Honduras and Guatemala) has been a growing problem in recent years. Most of these kids are trying to escape grossly underdeveloped economies which offer them almost no chance of a sustainable living. Others are fleeing the ravages of narcotics trafficking and the incipient Latin drug war, the epicenter of which has shifted southward as Mexican armed forces put increasing pressure on drug cartels in their own territory.

Mexico's immigration department, the National Institute of Migration (INM) reports that in 2011 U.S. authorities handed over 14,237 of these kids, all of whom were detained at or near the border. Over 80%, some 11,500 children, were of Mexican origin. The remaining 2,700 were citizens of other countries, primarily in Latin America.

In 2007 Mexico established an agency which works exclusively which such undocumented children, offering them shelter, food and other necessities until they can be returned to family members, or in the case of non-Mexican nationals, repatriated to their own countries. The agency now has 362 officers nationwide, who also investigate whether the children have been the victims of human traffickers for forced labor or sexual exploitation.

Endemic poverty and economic woes in Mexico:
Honduras "invaded by drug traffickers":
"Almost bankrupt" Guatemala calls for U.S. help in fighting drug cartels:
Guatemalan army joins drug war effort:
U.S. Peace Corps flees Honduras:

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