In order to escape the hardship or violence currently existing in their country, there are more children making the long trek from South America into the U.S. However, despite their efforts to obtain a better, safer life these immigrant children are being deported right back to where they came from. And sadly, some of them may lose their lives when they return.
There has been an estimated 63,000 unaccompanied children who have been apprehended trying to cross into the U.S. via the southern border by U.S. Border Patrol Agents since October 2013. This number continues to rise, and is expected to do so, as violence continues to sweep through parts of South America. For some of the migrant children who have been caught they are being deported immediately right back. Among the captured the children who come from Honduras’s capital San Pedro Sula, face a greater chance of danger since they are returning to an area which has become known as the murder capital of the world.
Since February there has been a reported five to ten migrant children who have been killed after being deported back from the U.S. to Honduras. The shocking details were recently released in a Los Angeles Times article, according to morgue director Hector Hernandez of San Pedro Sula within his own morgue he has taken in an estimated 42 dead children.
According to an U.S. Customs and Border Protection report, Honduran children are fleeing the country’s violent region of San Pedro Sula due to escalating violence. The report also detailed that for every 100,000 resident living in the area there was an estimated 187 killings among that number last year.
As part of the Committee for the Protection of Human Rights in Honduras, Hugo Ramon Maldonado believes that for about 80% of the migrant children leaving the country do so because “where they probably perceive the risk of traveling alone to the U.S. preferable to remaining at home,” finding the potential fatal journey safer as oppose to the dangerous found around the once safety of their homes.
However despite this shocking statistic and report, there are some politicians within this country who are fighting to expedite the deportation process so that more immigrants are deported back as quickly as they arrived. Politicians like Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Representative Henry Cuellar (D-TX) want to make all immigration judges come to a quicker court decision regarding detainees within a seven day period of their capture.
However, while some may find the benefit in speeding up the process of deportation it would not only undermine the rights of the migrant children but it would not keep children from harm. If the process of deportation is sped up, children who may be returned to eventual danger may not be saved due to the hasty process that could prevent such a fate.
According to a report by the United Nations, there are at least 58% of children who cited “international protection needs” as the reason for seeking protection from the international community versus their own because their home government could no longer protect them. Of the detainees held in immigration detainment, 40% of the children are eligible for legal relief from removal.
In order to combat the violence in Honduras, both the U.S. and Honduras governments are working together to resolve the issue in Honduras. Back in June, the White House stated that it would put forth $18.5 million dollars towards supporting “community policing and law enforcement efforts to confront gang and other sources of crime,” within the country.
Even Honduras First Lady Ana Garcia de Hernandez has come out in support of new government programs which are “aimed at improving the lives of those who are sent back and giving others a reason to stay.”
However, despite the promises of both governments there are still deportees who are skeptical about them. Those who are marked for deportation or those who still live in Honduras do not believe in the promises made to the public because the Honduran government does not have the acquired funds to support such programs.
Whether Honduras can fund programs and the U.S. does aide in ceasing the violence in Honduras deportations will not stop. Nor will the many that migrant here cease their efforts in trying to attain a safer and better livelihood away from the violence they are exposed to. While there are lawmakers who are trying to speed up the process of deportation, there are a few who are trying to best deal with the waves of unaccompanied children who are apprehended by Border Patrol agents.
As of now with no new legislation has been drafted or created in order to aid them, migrant children detainees who wait in a jail-like cell waiting to find out their fate if they are permitted to stay or are to be deported back to violence or certain death.