Children of the Americas: From Central America to South Florida - The Miami Herald

July 13, 2014


Children have arrived in the United States without their parents for decades, but over the past two years the number of unaccompanied minors — primarily from Central America — has become so large, it has been characterized as a humanitarian crisis.

Watch the video.

The number is unprecedented — more than 50,000 within the past eight months, and rising quickly.

President Barack Obama has asked Congress to provide almost $4 billion to set up new detention facilities, conduct more aerial surveillance and hire immigration judges and U.S. Border Patrol agents to respond to what he calls “an urgent humanitarian situation.”

The crisis is being felt across the United States, with Miami being one of 10 cities where children are being sent for immigration proceedings as border shelters in the Southwest fill up.

Most of these youths — from toddlers to teens — are largely coming from three countries: El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, the Centeral American nation with the highest murder rate in the world and one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere.

Hear the stories of some of these unaccompanied minors in a documentary, Children of the Americas: From Central America to South Florida.

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AI Justice is an award-winning non-profit law and advocacy firm that protects and promotes the basic human rights of immigrants. In Florida and on a national level, we champion the rights of unaccompanied immigrant children; advocate for survivors of trafficking and domestic violence; serve as a watchdog on immigration detention practices and policies; and speak for immigrant groups who have particular and compelling claims to justice.