Central American leaders meet on immigration
MCALLEN, TX (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — On the same day President Barack Obama visited with the presidents of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, other officials of those countries met in McAllen.
Those are the three Central American countries whose citizens have migrated to the United States in the greatest numbers in recent months.
"We need to have the same speech, and we need to have the same actions as a region," Honduras Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Diana Valladares sadi. "So that's the purpose of our meetings here."
They want to get on the same page as to how their countrymen are treated once they get here, and how to keep them from coming in the first place.
"We don't want our people leaving Honduras," Valladares said. "And we are going to make all our effort and all our work for them stay in our country."
Migration from these three so-called "other than Mexican" countries are what started the record immigration influx in the first place.
Valladares said that a month ago, 90 unaccompanied Honduran children left her country on a daily basis. Many of the people leaving say they're trying to escape rampant crime and poverty.
The officials meeting in McAllen Friday hope for results in those areas also, not just on the immigration issue.
"This is a problem for the United States too," Valladares said. "So President (Juan Orlando) Hernandez will have a great opportunity to meet President Obama and just explain to him our problem, the magnitude of our problem and look for solutions."
Officials here will visit detention facilities this week to make sure their countrymen are being held under proper conditions.
Congressman Henry Cuellar announced Friday that $4.7 million will come to Hidalgo County law enforcement. The funds are meant to help secure the border region.