Expert’s Take- Unaccompanied Migrant Children: The Tip of the Iceberg

August 4, 2014

By Rafael Fernández de Castro and Margarita Zavala. Translated from Spanish by the Mexico Institute

Image for Expert TakePresident Barack Obama has said that the huge number of unaccompanied children who are coming to the United States from Central America represents an urgent humanitarian situation. He is right; the suffering of tens of thousands of children is unthinkable.
The humanitarian crisis that President Obama refers to is, however, only the tip of the iceberg of what has been happening in this corridor of intense migration – Central America (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador), Mexico and the United States – over the past two decades. This corridor has experienced recurring humanitarian crises for several reasons, including massive suffering of thousands, and perhaps hundreds of thousands, of human beings, not only children, but also young men and women.
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Obama, Mexican leader team up on border fix

July 25, 2014

07/24/14 The Hill

President Obama visits Mexico President Enrique Pena NietoPresident Obama and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto worked to develop a strategy to address the surge of unaccompanied children from Central America entering the U.S. illegally.

Obama called Nieto Thursday, a day before he meets with leaders of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador about the ongoing border crisis.

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Obama careful on immigration in State of the Union, lawmakers say

January 29, 2014

obamaLA Times, 1/28/14

President Obama urged Congress in his State of the Union  speech to “fix our broken immigration system,” saying both political parties stood to gain by helping millions of undocumented immigrants get a legal foothold in America. “Independent economists say immigration reform will grow our economy and shrink our deficits by almost $1 trillion in the next two decades,” he said. “And for good reason: When people come here to fulfill their dreams – to study, invent and contribute to our culture – they make our country a more attractive place for businesses to locate and create jobs for everyone.”
But Obama, aware that House Republicans won’t appreciate any hectoring from him, didn’t set out any legislative markers, including requiring a pathway to legal status and ultimately citizenship for the estimated 11 million people in the country illegally.

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Dems Tell Obama: Pause Deportation If You Want Congress To Act

December 6, 2013

International Business Times, 12/5/2013

immigration marchMore than two dozen Democrats on Thursday sent a letter to President Barack Obama, calling on him to help restart the immigration reform debate in Congress by suspending deportation. They also asked the nation’s chief executive to go a step further and expand “deferred action,” a program that would grant these immigrants reprieve.

The lawmakers’ formal request to the president came more than a week after he was heckled at a California event by an immigrant who asked that Obama use his executive power to protect immigrants from the laws under what they describe as a broken system.

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Obama, in S.F., hails Batkid, pushes immigration reform

November 27, 2013

San Francisco Chronicle, 11/25/2013

ObamaPresident Obama issued an impassioned call Monday for Congress to pass immigration reform during a visit to San Francisco that – in true city-by-the-bay fashion – included everything from a nod to Batkid to an exchange with a protester who pleaded with him to halt all immigrant deportations.

Obama’s frank conversation with the protester came during an invitation-only address before 400 people at a Chinatown recreation center. Later, at a sold-out fundraiser at the SFJazz Center, the president again found himself in conversation with a shouting audience member who urged him to bypass congressional Republicans and use executive orders to accomplish major reforms.

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Obama: House has votes to pass immigration reform

November 6, 2013

CBS News, 11/5/2013

Barack_Obama_being_briefed_on_swine_flu_oubreak_4-29In a meeting with business leaders to discuss immigration reform, President Obama predicted that there are enough votes in the House to pass the contentious issue.

“Although right now there’s been some resistance from House Republicans, what’s been encouraging is that there are a number of House Republicans who have said we think this is the right thing to do as well,” Mr. Obama said Tuesday at the White House. “It’s my estimation that we actually have the votes to get comprehensive immigration reform done in the House right now. The politics are challenging for [Speaker Boehner] and others, and we want to make it as easy for them as possible. This is not an issue where we’re looking for a political win, this is one where we’re looking for a substantive win for the U.S. economy and the American people and the businesses that are represented here.”

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Obama softens tone on immigration reform

October 25, 2013

Los Angeles Times, 10/25/2013

Barack Obama speaking about swine flu

After months of insisting the House should take up the comprehensive immigration bill that passed the Senate in June, President Obama changed tactics Thursday and said he might consider GOP proposals to overhaul separate parts of the immigration system.

The White House is hoping that public anger at the 16-day government shutdown has so badly damaged the GOP that House Republican leaders will consider immigration reform as a way to improve their popularity with moderate voters. Obama’s aides also are intent on showing the president is willing to compromise, partly to counter GOP charges that he was inflexible during the bitter shutdown standoff.

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