Immigrant children ‘huge manmade human crisis’
by W. Winston Skinner
Children from Central America and South America are coming across the border into the United States, and that is “a huge man-made human crisis,” according to Jack Kingston.
The number of unaccompanied children coming into the country was relatively small until 2011, about 6,000 a year. At that point, “the president changed the law,” Kingston said.
The law previously called for unaccompanied children to be sent home. While children from Mexico are still sent back to that country, children from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are not.
“There’s a lot of crime and poverty” in those countries, Kingston said. “The parents will have a drug dealer to smuggle their kids up here.”
He said 70,000 children have arrived from Central America so far this year, and he predicted the total may reach 145,000.
Kingston said each child who comes brings a cost of $250 per day because they “have to be accompanied at all times.” He also expressed concerns about children arriving in the United States having been molested or otherwise abused en route from their home countries.
He said there have been proposals to allow the parents of those children to come to the United States – and stay. Those efforts have not yet succeeded.
Kingston, who represents a district in south Georgia in Congress, is running for the U.S. Senate post being vacated by Saxby Chambliss.
Kingston made a commitment to stay on top of the child immigration issue. “I’m leading the charge on this,” he said. “We can’t just sit back.”