Central American Unaccompanied Minors: Country of Origin Initiatives

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Institute of the Americas
10111 N. Torrey Pines Rd., La Jolla, CA, 92037
United States


Scott HamiltonU.S. Customs and Border Protection estimates that thus far in 2014, more than 66,000 unaccompanied minors have crossed the U.S. border, primarily from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.  While the influx has abated somewhat over the hot summer months, officials anticipate a renewed uptick in the number of cases. These unprecedented numbers are a complex problem that poses a test to the United States’ legal system as well as its’ humanitarian values.
The future of the children already in the U.S. remains unresolved, but what can be done at the point of origin to reduce the push factors that have driven this surge in migration?  Please join us on October 6 as we host senior State Department official Scott Hamilton for a conversation on how the State Department and regional governments have mobilized in order to address the crisis and to dissuade children from making the dangerous journey.  We will discuss what the overall U.S. policy response is in the sending countries, what programs are underway jointly to dissuade children from migrating and protect them at home, and what can be done to address the root causes of the problem, such as citizen insecurity and drug violence.
Mr. Hamilton is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service and is currently the Director of the Office of Central American Affairs in the Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.

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