HIAS Welcomes Dialogue Between President Obama and Central American Leaders

HIAS welcomed President Obama's meeting with Central American leaders today to work toward a resolution to the humanitarian crisis on the U.S. border. The organization also called on the administration to establish a safe and legal way for unaccompanied minors coming to the United States from Central America to reunite with their families.

Statement by Mark Hetfield, President and CEO

There are two factors responsible for kids taking the dangerous journey to the United States: the extreme violence in Central America and the lack of a legal channel for them to legally reunite with family in the United States. Today, President Obama initiated a dialogue with Central American leaders to promote development and the rule of law in the region. HIAS welcomes this important but overdue first step on a very long road. But until stability is brought to Central America and Comprehensive Immigration Reform is enacted, we will need to ensure that these kids are protected.

The White House is also considering establishing a safe and legal route for refugee kids to come here and join their parents. To put the smugglers out of business and protect the children, that needs to happen without further delay.

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