News

Kerry warns U.S. will deport undocumented children

Kerry warns U.S. will deport undocumented children

IMMIGRATION:President Barack Obama said on Monday he was sending John Kerry to Central America to address the problem, in a speech pledging to act alone to revamp the U.S. immigration system and protect the border after hopes of persuading congressional Republicans to pass broad reform legislation officially died. Photo: Reuters

By Patricia Zengerle

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday Washington would work with Central America to address the root causes of an immigration crisis, but kept up the Obama administration’s tough message that undocumented children would be deported.

“We obviously understand people who want to do better, and who look for a better life,” Kerry said as he met leaders from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, countries from which tens of thousands of children have fled to the United States in recent months.

“But at the same time, there are rules of law, and there is a process and there is false information that is being spread about benefits that might be available to these young people who are looking for that better life,” he added.

Kerry was in Panama for the inauguration of the country’s new president, Juan Carlos Varela, and he combined the trip with meetings to address a crisis that is straining U.S. resources and roiling partisan tensions in Washington over immigration.

Kerry met with Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren and Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina. Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez did not attend, sending his Foreign Minister Mireya Aguero Trejo de Corrales instead.

President Barack Obama said on Monday he was sending Kerry to Central America to address the problem, in a speech pledging to act alone to revamp the U.S. immigration system and protect the border after hopes of persuading congressional Republicans to pass broad reform legislation officially died.

Kerry’s visit followed one by Vice President Joe Biden to Guatemala on June 20 to discuss the exodus of children that is also threatening to complicate Washington’s ties with its allies in Mexico and Central America.

The absence of Hernandez raised some eyebrows after the new Honduran president also skipped the meeting with Biden while on a trip to the World Cup in Brazil. That followed criticism of the United States in his inaugural address in January, when he said Central America was suffering from U.S. drug consumption.

Asked about the Panama talks, Honduran deputy foreign minister Roberto Ochoa told Reuters that protocol dictated that Aguero meet Kerry and that Hernandez wanted an “informal private meeting” with the U.S. secretary of state to discuss migration.

“There’s a way of communicating among equals, and this is an old practice in relations between countries,” Ochoa said.

Tens of thousands of children from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras are showing up illegally, often without parents, at the Texas border. Their numbers could reach 90,000 this year and 150,000 next – up from only about 6,000 in 2011.

U.S. officials stressed that they consider the crisis humanitarian, citing the danger facing children traveling thousands of miles in the hands of smugglers. “The lives of children cannot be put at risk this way,” Kerry said.

However, Washington also wants Central American countries to do more to fix their economies, for example by integrating their trade, State Department officials said.

“Until the Central Americans really get past some of the arguing among themselves and focusing on going it alone … they’re not going to overcome these problems,” one said.

U.S. Republicans blame lax border security and Obama’s moves toward easing immigration rules for encouraging Central Americans to risk the long journey north to escape poverty, crime and violence at home.

Obama blames Republicans for refusing to pass legislation that would address broader immigration issues, such as whether to provide a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States.

Activists and some of Obama’s fellow Democrats in Congress say many of the children would be eligible for asylum.

(Additional reporting by Gustavo Palencia in Tegucigalpa; Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Mohammad Zargham)

News

in Music

The Beatles wanted to film ‘Lord of the Rings’

Fresh
FILE- This is a 1967 handout image from Parlophone of The British group, The Beatles,. From left, are: Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Paul McCartney; and George Harrison. The woman who as a child was the basis for the Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" is gravely ill. It was thought by many at the time that the psychedelic song from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band was a paean to LSD because of the initials in the title, but it was actually based on a drawing that John Lennon's young son Julian brought home from school. He told his father the drawing was of Lucy in the sky with diamonds. Lucy Vodden, now living in Surrey just outside of London _ drifted apart after schoolyard days, but they have gotten back in touch as Lennon has tried to help Vodden cope with Lupus, a life-threatening disease.

Peter Jackson reveals John Lennon could have played Gollum in a Stanley Kubrick directed LOTR adaptation.

in Entertainment

Fans support campaign to keep Sean Bean alive in new show

Fresh
British actor Sean Bean arrives for a special UK screening of Cleanskin, at the Mayfair Hotel in central London, Monday, March 5, 2012.

The "Game of Thrones" actor has died more than 20 times in his career, and fans want it to stop.

in Entertainment

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ sequel set for 2017

Fresh
Guardians Of The Galaxy

Marvel unveils plans to press ahead with a sequel to "Guardians of the Galaxy," days before the superhero movie even hits theaters.

in Lifestyle

Amazon offers 3D printing to customize products

A box from Amazon.com is pictured on the porch of a house in Golden, Colorado on July 28, 2008.

Amazon will offer 3D printing services that allow customers to customize and build earrings, bobble head toys and other items.