5 Facts About The Child Migrants On Our Southern Border
In all of the political debate over the children at the southern border, a fundamental fact seems to be getting lost: these are children fleeing murder, rape, and other violence in some of the most dangerous countries in world. The Center for American Progress has issued a brief to provide more details about the situation faced by these child refugees. We’ve highlighted a few key facts and figures, and check out the full report here.
1. The countries these children are fleeing from are the most dangerous countries in the world. Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world, while El Salvador and Guatemala sit at numbers four and five, respectively.
2. In fact, Honduras is more violent than Iraq was at the height of the insurgency. The 2012 murder rate in Honduras was 30 percent higher than the civilian casualty rate in Iraq in 2007, when the insurgency was at its peak.
3. The most violent cities in Central America are far more violent than cities in the United States. The three Central American cities with the highest homicide rates are far more dangerous than the worst cities in the United States.
4. Children and girls are increasingly being targeted. Gangs and other organized criminal groups are targeting children, reports show. Children ages 12 and younger are the fastest-growing group of child refugees. That group has seen a 117 percent increase in arrivals since last year.
5. More child refugees are girls. More female children are fleeing than ever before: In just the past year, the number of girls fleeing unaccompanied to the United States has increased 77 percent.
BOTTOM LINE: Given the extraordinary violence in Central America, we need to show compassion and take care of these child refugees who have traveled thousands of miles, often alone. They deserve a hearing to determine if their claims are valid, and we should treat them humanely throughout that process, while sending resources to expedite it.