AILA Doc No. 14070148 | Dated January 8, 2016
In the summer of 2014, the steadily increasing levels of violence and insecurity in the Northern Triangle of Central America (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador) reached peak levels and erupted into a regional humanitarian crisis. Record numbers of unaccompanied children and families were fleeing — not only to the United States. Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Belize all experienced a 1,185% increase in asylum applications from nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras between 2008 and 2014.
Though President Obama initially called for a humanitarian response, soon thereafter he called it a border security problem demanding a deterrence strategy.
In late 2015, the number of Central American families crossing the border increased, again. In the last week of December 2015, The Washington Post and other news source widely reported that in DHS intended to do roundups nationwide to deport Central American families. On January 4, 2016, DHS Secretary Johnson confirmed that 121 adults and children were apprehended in raids during the New Year's weekend across the country. AILA has condemned the administration's inhumane tactics to detain and deport families seeking protection.
"We should offer help to those seeking refuge from persecution and violence whether they fled from war in Syria, Iraq, or Afghanistan or from gangs, rape, or domestic violence in Honduras, Guatemala, or El Salvador," said AILA President Victor Nieblas Pradis. "No matter which land they have been driven from, our laws guarantee humanitarian protection."