US sees surge in Central American kids fleeing crime and abuse

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WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama is delaying a review of his administration’s deportation policies until the end of summer, hoping republicans will pass immigration reform.

But no amount of reform may come in time to help tens of thousands of children the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service expects to be in the United States by the end of next year.

The organization says the U.S. has seen a surge of children this year from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

They say the children are fleeing crime, drug gangs, and sexual exploitation, and many of them come here without parents.

The Obama administration budgeted for 60,000 kids, but the organization says that will double by the end of next year.

That 120,000 is about the population of Denton, TX, which is why Annie Wilson, the executive vice president of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service says we should think of this influx as “a city of children”.

They’ve started a petition drive to urge the president and congressional leaders to provide emergency funding and protection for these kids, and for everyone else to reach out and help.

In essence, to see these kids as refugees, like those displaced by the Syrian civil war and other conflict: innocent victims in need of safety, shelter and survival.