Secretary of state John Kerry declared on Tuesday that Washington will work with Central America to try to get to the root cause of the current immigration crisis; however, he made it clear that the Obama administration intends to maintain its tough message that undocumented children are not immune from deportation.
Meeting leaders from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Kerry acknowledged that the United States understands why immigrants are looking for a better life; however, he went on to say: “But at the same time, there are rules of law, and there is a process, and there is false information that is being spread about benefits that might be available for these young people who are looking for that better life.”
Kerry went to Panama for the inauguration of Juan Carlos Varela, the country’s new president, and combined this visit with meetings to talk about the immigration crisis that is putting a strain on the resources of the United States and increasing partisan tensions in Washington. Kerry met with Guatemalan president Otto Perez Molina; Salvador Sanchez Ceren, the president of El Salvador; and Honduras foreign minister Mireya Aguero Trejo de Corrales.
Tens of thousands of undocumented minors from Central America are crossing the border into the United States, often unaccompanied. Their numbers are expected to reach 90,000 by the end of 2014 and could reach 150,000 next year ‒ an astonishing increase from just 6,000 three years ago back in 2011.