News

Obama urges Central Americans to not send children to U.S. border

Obama urges Central Americans to not send children to U.S. border

IMMIGRATION:U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the White House Summit on Working Families in Washington June 23. Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama appealed to Central American parents on Thursday to not send their children to the U.S. southern border in his most forceful comments yet on the emerging humanitarian crisis that is causing him political problems.

“Do not send your children to the borders,” Obama told ABC News. “If they do make it, they’ll get sent back. More importantly, they may not make it.”

Tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors, mostly from Central America, have crossed into the United States in recent months, overwhelming processing centers and leading to criticism of Obama’s immigration policies from Republicans.

While U.S. officials attributed the spike to poverty and rising gang violence in Central America, the U.S. government has sought to dispel any notion by parents that their children might qualify to stay in the United States as part of immigration reform efforts before the U.S. Congress.

“Our message absolutely is don’t send your children unaccompanied, on trains or through a bunch of smugglers,” Obama told ABC. “We don’t even know how many of these kids don’t make it, and may have been waylaid into sex trafficking or killed because they fell off a train.”

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Recent Headlines

12 hours ago in Local

Chicago Officer Sues Estate of Teen He Shot, Claiming Trauma

wtax 011015

A white Chicago police officer who fatally shot a black 19-year-old college student and accidently killed a neighbor has filed a lawsuit against the teenager's estate, arguing the shooting left him traumatized.

12 hours ago in Local

New Commemorative Quarter Features Shawnee National Forest

shawnee quarter

A commemorative coin featuring a scene from the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois has entered into circulation.

12 hours ago in Local

U of I Reports Record Number of Freshmen Applications

u of i urbana 2

University of Illinois officials say a record number of prospective freshmen have applied for enrollment next fall across the school's three campuses.

17 hours ago in Local

USO Says “Thank You” to National Guard

2-6-16 National Guard USO

The USO’s Illinois chapter wrapped up a week celebrating their 75th anniversary by thanking the people they serve – the troops.

2 days ago in Local

Court Upholds TV Pitchman Kevin Trudeau’s 10-Year Sentence

wtax 011015

An appeals court in Chicago has upheld a 10-year prison term for best-selling author Kevin Trudeau.