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Wed Jul 30, 2014, 05:07 PM

How US Immigration Policies Endangered Central American and Cuban Children

July 30, 2014
How Can Americans Turn Their Backs on These Kids?

How US Immigration Policies Endangered Central American and Cuban Children

by W.T. WHITNEY, Jr.

Leaving parents behind, 57,000 children crossed into the United States without papers between October 2013 and June, 2014. They were fleeing deadly violence in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Numbers have been up for three years. No arrangements were in place along the U.S. southwest border for quick and certain refuge and children now languish in detention centers. Having faced one humanitarian crisis, they were confronting another.

The Texas governor mobilized the National Guard, anti-immigrant protesters targeted the children, and on July 14 the first plane carrying exclusively mothers and children returned 22 children to San Pedro Sula in Honduras.

Restrictive immigration policies applying to Latin Americans dovetail with other U.S. measures harmful to poor people in the region, and elsewhere, among them free trade agreements, U.S. aid to the region’s repressive military and police forces, a green light for multi-national corporations, and alliances with wealthy classes of many countries.

Children are the losers. U.S. assumptions as regards immigration that strategic goals come first relegate children’s needs to an afterthought. That this is so even for would-be Cuban migrants, whose emigration experience has been radically different, bolsters that argument.

Cubans about to migrate can count on U.S. acceptance. No one else in the world enjoys such welcome. The Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA) of 1966 enables all Cubans to gain permanent residence a year after their arrival, and expect citizenship. The legislation’s purpose was propaganda. The U.S. open door encouraged many Cubans to leave as economic migrants, but the official line was that they were refugees from so-called “communist tyranny.”


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Reply How US Immigration Policies Endangered Central American and Cuban Children (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jul 2014 OP
Lydia Leftcoast Aug 2014 #1
Judi Lynn Aug 2014 #2

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 10:29 PM

1. The right-wingers act as if Cuba prevents people from leaving, but

actually, it's the U.S. that limits the number of legal immigrants. It also gives automatic asylum to any Cuban who can reach U.S. soil.

Cubans who want to leave can also apply for residence in Spain if they can prove that they are of Spanish ancestry, which many can, since Cuba was the place for adventurous young Spaniards to go in the early twentieth century.

So we're not talking about the Berlin Wall or North Korea here.

The influx of Haitian refugees a while back also pointed up the imbalance in our immigration laws. They were send back as "economic refugees," even though "Baby Doc's" government was very repressive.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #1)

Tue Aug 5, 2014, 03:44 AM

2. Very good to see the differences illuminated. Most people simply don't know about this. Thanks. n/t

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