Border Children Return

Thousands of children trying to escape gang violence and poverty in Central America have made their way to the United States this year—and there is no sign that the flow is letting up, the U.N. children’s agency said in a report released on Aug. 23. In the first six months of 2016, Unicef said almost 26,000 unaccompanied children were apprehended at the U.S. border along with 29,700 people traveling in family groups, mostly mothers and young children. Most are from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, three countries with some of the world’s highest murder and poverty rates, Unicef said. “It is heart-rending to think of these children—most of them teenagers, but some even younger—making the grueling and extremely dangerous journey in search of safety and a better life,” Unicef’s deputy executive director, Justin Forsyth, said in the report. Unicef officials worry that any children deported to home countries “could be killed or raped by the gangs they sought to escape in the first place.”

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