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July 11, 2014

The Washington Times: Let’s Not Abandon Families that Seek Refuge

An opinion piece by James W. Ziglar former commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) under former President George W. Bush and a member of Human Rights First’s board of directors. Ziglar is a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute.

On Tuesday, President Obama sent a request to Congress for emergency supplemental appropriations to address the increased flow of families and unaccompanied children crossing our border illegally. The administration also indicated that it will separately work with Congress to relax the legal protections for unaccompanied children in the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, and it previously announced plans to hold families with children in immigration detention.

Many of these children and families are fleeing horrific conditions in Central America’s Northern Triangle: El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. In these countries, violence, persecution and human trafficking are pervasive. Honduras actually has the world’s highest murder rate. Not surprisingly, the U.N. Refugee Agency found that 58 percent of the unaccompanied children are asylum seekers.

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