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Honduran President urges the US to attack the root of the immigration problem

The president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, applauded the United States Government on Wednesday for expanding the asylum program for Central American children, but assured that it must “attack the problem at the root.”

Hernandez, who received the keys to the city of Doral on Wednesday, close to Miami, defended the importance of promoting the Alliance Plan for the Prosperity of the Northern Triangle of Central America to solve the immigration crisis of minors.

He assured that Honduras is “on the right track”, to which i“optimism”  was added for the positive atmosphere in both chambers of the US Congress, as well as in the country’s Executive.

He highlighted in this regard the work with Senator Tim Kaine, now a candidate for the Vice Presidency of Democrat Hillary Clinton, who as a young man was a missionary in Honduras, where he also learned to speak Spanish.

“I can say that we are personal friends, he has been to Honduras many times and he has been one of the promoters of the Alliance for Prosperity Plan,” he told Efe Hernández about the senator from Virginia.

“It seems to me that he has something deep in his heart regarding Honduras and the Latin world,” added the Honduran president.

Hernandez, who said that due to “responsibility” he did not want to talk about the US electoral campaign, only said that there has been “a new synergy in terms of developing a new relationship, more productive, more human and closer to Latin America.” with this country.

“I would expect the American people to also make decisions thinking about that, we are one hemisphere,” he said.

On the other hand, he said that the future of the Alliance, a cooperation program between the US and the region, depends on solving the humanitarian crisis of Central American children fleeing their countries due to violence or lack of opportunities in the region to meet with their relatives in the USA.

It is necessary to “repower the economic apparatus of Central America and strengthen the legal entities” in the region, Hernández said after receiving the keys to the city of Doral, from the hands of its mayor, Venezuelan Luigi Boria.

Two weeks ago, the Honduran president announced that the US approved $ 750 million for the plan in 2017, adding to the same amount assigned for 2016.

For Hernandez, the position adopted by both Clinton and the Republican candidate Donald Trump on the Alliance, “will define a before and after in the relations between the United States, Central America and the countries of Latin America.”

He indicated that part of this initiative is to strengthen commercial ties not only with nations from all continents but with cities such as Doral, which, he said, has an “extraordinary commercial logistics”.

He was also “hopeful” of the expansion of asylum policy, but stressed the need to work closer with the United States, El Salvador, Guatemala, and “even Mexico.”

“It is the first time that the United States Government pays attention to our region, because we are not to blame for the transit of drugs that takes place in the south and is consumed in the north and leaves us a wake of violence”, he stated.

And although he said he understood that there are laws, the Honduran president said that for him “there is a human right, which establishes that the child, the father and the mother have the right to be together.”

He also made a call to support this family reunification and to work in favor of the Alliance, to ensure that “everyone who was born in our land wants to develop there.”

USA announced on Tuesday that it will accept refugee requests for children from northern Central America issued by their elder brothers, uncles and grandparents living in this country, in addition to sending more agents to the region to process applications and collaborate with Costa Rica for the most urgent cases.

Data from the Customs and Border Protection Service (CBP) indicate that more than 223,000 unaccompanied children and “family units” have been detained by immigration authorities since October 2015, when the fiscal year began, until last April. The previous fiscal year more than 331,000 were arrested.

Article Obtained from www.elnuevoherald.com

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