COSTA RICA NEWS – Costa Rica’s Foreign Ministry has ruled out that Costa Rican minors have entered the United States illegally without adult company, this despite the assertions by legislator Humberto Vargas who told La Nacion this week that five Costa Rican children were among the thousands from Mexico and Central America to flood across the Rio Grande River into the southern United States.
Vargas , legislator of the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana (PUSC), said that he received the information directly from Costa Rican consular officials in the United States.
However, following up on the report, the Foreign Ministry itself ruled out the possibility. “The Foreign Ministry through its consulate in Texas, has been able to establish that there are no unaccompanied minors detained of Costa Rican nationality, nor in U.S. shelters“, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs a statement.
According to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and Security Department of the United States, 47,107 children from Central American have been detained by U.S. immigration officials at the border with Mexico in the last eight months.
On Tuesday, the president of the Patronato Nacional de la Infancia (PANI) – Costa Rica’s child welfare services – Ana Teresa León, traveled to Honduras, where a commission made up of officials from Central America and the United States are studying the best way to repatriate these children.
Those from Honduras and El Salvador are mostly fleeing street gangs that make life a living hell. Others from Guatemala are fleeing poverty and drug violence. They are responding to a immigration law passed late in the Administration of Gorge W. Bush with enjoyed bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress.
U.S. immigration law stipulates that court hearings must be granted for those claiming humanitarian motives for fleeing an unlivable situation. So lethal are the children’s home neighborhoods that parents will send them despite the obvious dangers (kidnapping, robbery and slavery) they must face to get to the Rio Grande.
U.S. law stipulates that an immigration court must investigate each case for deportation. Most of the children, only some of whom are accompanied by an adult parent, are being sent by parents and some ot them are making the dangerous journey through Mexico alone. Courts are overwhelmed.
Even the overcrowded camps into which the children are herded by U.S. immigration authorities may be better than what they face at home, in part, thanks to the aid of kind U.S. citizens and local churches contributing to the kids’ needs. Some, if course, are fleeing grinding poverty at home and at the camps, they at least do not go to bed hungry.
Sources: La Nacion; Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores (Costa Rica; iNews.co.cr