Yesterday Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, introduced legislation to amend a 2008 law giving more legal protections to immigrant minors from noncontiguous countries to allow for speedier deportations.
Earlier this month President Obama called for similar changes to the law.
Reauthorized by President George W. Bush -- The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 -- was intended to combat minors being trafficked to this country. It forced federal state and local officials to turn over any immigrant youth under 18 discovered to Health and Human Services who would provide services and safe housing until it could be determined whether they are victims of human trafficking.
This move to speed up deportations comes as the United Nations pressures the U.S. to reclassify Central American immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, which is where most of them are from, as refugees fleeing violence.
What is the future of these unaccompanied minors both short term and long term as political priorities shift and outside influence mounts?
- Marc Rosenblum, deputy director of the U.S. Immigration Policy Program at the Migration Policy Institute
- Jonathan Ryan, executive director of RAICES, a nonprofit group that provides legal help to child immigrants and families.
*This is the first segment in the July 15 edition of The Source, which airs at 3 p.m. on KSTX 89.1 FM.