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Children at the Border: A Humanitarian Crisis

What causes a five-year-old to travel hundreds of miles without her parents to get to the United States?

The number of unaccompanied minors coming to the U.S. has soared to more than 52,000 since October, and the U.S. is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. What are the drivers of this migration? What can U.S. policy makers do?

Urge your elected officials to support a compassionate response to this humanitarian crisis.

According to a United Nations report, these children are fleeing intense crime, violence and poverty in their home countries — to the point that 48 percent of the children they interviewed were personally affected by violence, and 58 percent could qualify for international protection. Between January and March, 90 children were murdered per month in Honduras, a country with a population smaller than New York City. If the much larger United States had that same child murder rate as Honduras, it would be equivalent to 3600 children dying every month.

The U.S. should not deport children back to danger — and Congress needs to hear it.

FCNL believes that opening new family detention centers to address the humanitarian needs of children is not the best solution. We have a legal and moral obligation to protect vulnerable children. The U.S. should follow both its own and international law to make sure that each child is given a hearing and given asylum if necessary. The cost of accepting asylum seekers is high, but the human cost of deporting children back to danger is much higher.

Ask your elected officials not to treat these children like criminals to be locked up and sent away.

Thank you for your support of a safer, more just world.

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