At Least 5 Children Murdered After Deported Back to Honduras
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As the Central American child migrant crisis intensifies, reports have surfaced that a least five to 10 migrant children have been killed since February when the United States deported them back to Honduras, Think Progress reported.
Morgue director Hector Hernandez told the Los Angeles Times that the San Pedro Sula morgue had taken in 42 dead children since February. The Committee for the Protection of Human Rights in Honduras estimates that up to 80 percent of Hondurans emigrating are fleeing threats of violence.
Yet, despite the urgent humanitarian situation, the United States continues to fly unaccompanied children escaping persecution back to Honduras, at a steady rate of about three times a week, according to the Washington Post.
Since October 2013, U.S. Border Patrol has seized approximately 63,000 unaccompanied children at the southern U.S Border. In July, it sent its first plane load of 40 mothers and children to San Pedro Sula, despite the city fast becoming the murder capital of the world with 187 killings for every 100,000 residents.
In response, the U.S. and Honduran governments have allocated funds to help repatriated immigrants stay in Honduras. In June, the White House declared $18.5 million in funds to support police and law enforcement efforts to fight gangs and crime.
Congress remains divided on the issue of immigration and has yet to approve a funding bill to accommodate the influx of unaccompanied children fleeing across the southern border. Politicians like Texan Republican Senator John Cornyn and Texan Democrat Henry Cuellar are supporting legislation which would fast-track deportations and expedite the legal process, suggesting that deportations are unlikely to cease anytime soon.
The Honduran government has also been blamed for the humanitarian crisis. Human rights groups say it is “ill-equipped to assist children at high risk after they have returned,” the LA Times reports. Only last week lawyers representing detainees came forward with claims that the Honduran consulate was advising immigrants “to forego legal counsel and consent to deportation."