Immigration delay disappoints Central America

Us-mexico-borderMexico and a number of other governments in Central America have expressed their disappointment at the blocking of President Obama’s executive action on immigration reform by a federal judge. The president’s plans would prevent almost five million undocumented immigrants from deportation, many of whom come from Central American countries.

Tens of thousands of immigrant minors fled El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras last year, resulting in the southern US border being overwhelmed by the influx and causing a political firestorm in Washington. President Obama announced immigration reform via executive action in November and the reform was set to commence this week until it was blocked by US District Judge Andrew Hanen after a lawsuit filed by 26 states.

“Although we respect this decision as part of the United States’ internal legislation, it’s evidence of the fact that there are certain political sectors trying to torpedo a decision that would … help to alleviate the social and economic pressures that buffet our countries,” declared Marvin Ponce, a presidential adviser in Honduras.

The foreign ministry in Guatemala also expressed sadness at the injunction blocking the immigration reform and urged its citizens to avoid fraudsters trying to cash in on the situation. “We recommend that the Guatemalan community keeps itself informed, prepared and doesn’t allow itself to be surprised by unscrupulous people and organizations who might try to abuse of their good faith,” the ministry warned. The foreign ministry in El Salvador urged the US to stabilize immigration laws quickly for immigrants who have not committed any crimes.