The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador applauded the announcement of U.S. President Barack Obama that he will take executive action in immigration matters, and reiterated their willingness to work together to tackle the problem of Central American migration.
Thus expressed the Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina; Salvadorian, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, and Chancellor of Honduras, Mireya Agüero during a “briefing” on Tuesday in Panama City with the Secretary of State, John Kerry.
The meeting was held as part of the inauguration of Juan Carlos Varela as new president of Panama, to be held on Tuesday with the attendance of dignitaries from various countries.
Pérez Molina thanked Obama for all that has been done to make the immigration reform a reality in the United States, which he said was almost impossible because of the Republican opposition.
“We welcome President Obama’s decision to take Executive measures regarding the refusal of the House of Representatives, especially the Republican Party, who did not allow an advanced immigration reform.”
Obama announced last Monday that executive actions will be taken to fix the immigration system in the country “as much as possible”, after the Republicans refused in the Congress to vote on the immigration reform this year.
“While I will continue pushing the Republican House to put aside the excuses, the U.S. can not wait forever to act. So today begins a new effort to fix everything that our immigration system can, without the Congress, ” Obama said in a statement to reporters in the White House.
The Foreign Minister of Honduras described Obama’s announcement as important and explained that Tegucigalpa interprets that Washington understands that “the solution to a complicated issue,” such as immigration, especially for Central American children and youngsters, is not a tightening up of immigration measures in the United States.
“The empire of the law is important but one must also observe the international humanitarian law, especially in the case of migrant children,” claimed Aguero.
The Salvadoran President said that the governments of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras understand the drama of illegal immigration of their nationals to the U.S. is an issue that must be addressed from the perspective of stewardship.
Sanchez Ceren reiterated that the three Central American countries have fully availability to work together with Washington to confront and overcome the problem of migrant children alone.
“We have taken steps since we met the serious situation of children crossing borders unaccompanied (…) our vision is holistic and seeks to address the causes of our countries that drive migration,” he confirmed.
“El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras will see that there is a shared responsibility with the United States, and we believe that we should be partners in the development of our countries, in the security of our borders and we’re working on this,” he added.
Kerry reiterated that the issue of unaccompanied migrant children is not “extremely complicated” and that the primary responsibility for the current crisis are criminals who are exploiting children with promises of family reunification in the U.S. that are false.
Kerry acknowledged that the Central American reality, of high violence, unemployment and poverty, logically compels thousands to “a better life” in the United States, but stressed that there are laws that must be respected.
“Washington intends to work with every Central American country to address the causes that are pushing young people to migrate to the United States, ” he affirmed and recalled that Obama announced that he will ask for some 20 million dollars at the Congress to directly address this issue of migrant children.
“I am very grateful to the Friends of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to come to talk about this important issue, how we can try to improve jointly addressing this challenge,” added the state’s secretary.
About 90 unaccompanied children are crossing the southwest border of the United States every day, and in the last nine months 52,000 have been arrested after entering the country illegally, especially from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, according to U.S. official data.
The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose, Costa Rica