Since October 2013, some 52,000 children have been taken into custody attempting to cross the U.S. border. It’s a crisis that has stirred up much political controversy. Many people have attempted to blame President Obama for encouraging more immigrants to come to the United States. Others say he isn’t doing enough to help the children who are unaccompanied by adults and who many want to classify as refugees, not mere immigrants seeking greener pastures in the United States. Perhaps some basic facts will help us get to the bottom of this. Take a look at the infographic below.
Children unaccompanied by adults coming to the U.S. border have come from Latin America’s most dangerous nations.
According to FTI Consulting, a global business advisory firmheadquartered in Washington, D.C., Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and El Salvador are among Latin America’s most dangerous nations. Indeed, according to the United Nations, these are some of the most dangerous nations in the world, even more dangerous for civilians than Iraq.
Most of the children attempting to enter the United States have been from these four nations (Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and El Salvador). Not only does the data show that the children are coming from the most violent nations, we also see that countries with less violence are not sending unaccompanied children. Nicaragua, which borders Honduras from the south, is the second poorest nation in the region (only after Haiti) but with its lower rates of violence, there has not been an uptick of Nicaraguan children coming to the United States.
As a nation, we must decide how we will address one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the world that is right in our own backyard. Will we play politics? Will we make this a humanitarian issue, or an immigration policy issue? Will we help our neighbors, or turn our backs? That’s yet to be seen.
–Co-authored by Christian Gerlach–