AILA Doc No. 14070148 | Dated March 19, 2015
In the summer of 2014, the steadily increasing levels of violence and insecurity in the Northern Triangle of Central America (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador) reached peak levels and erupted into a regional humanitarian crisis. Record numbers of unaccompanied children and families were fleeing - not only to the United States. Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Belize all experienced a 712 percent increase in asylum applications from nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras between 2008 and 2013.
Though President Obama initially called for a humanitarian response, soon thereafter he called it a border security problem demanding a deterrence strategy. Now, many longstanding legal protections for children and asylum seekers are under siege.
As AILA President Leslie Holman comments, "Our country's reaction to this crisis is going to echo through the lives of these children and their families for generations, and actions to throw them out will be a stain on our history long after this Administration is gone."
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 14070148.
For information on providing legal services to unaccompanied children and families, check out AILA’s Practice Resource page.