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Central American migration

U.S. Expands Initiatives To Address Central American Migration Challenges

Over the past year, the United States has taken a series of steps to address the ongoing humanitarian challenges in Central America, particularly for the many vulnerable individuals attempting to leave the region and come to the United States, while also promoting safe and orderly migration and border security. As part of this ongoing effort, the United States is announcing the following initiatives to help vulnerable families and individuals from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

Statement by Secretary Johnson Following His Trip to El Salvador and Honduras

  Secretary Johnson participates in a media availability in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, to highlight the dangers of illegal or irregular migration to the United States.  DHS photo by Barry Bahler.Last week I visited El Salvador and Honduras.  I met with the Presidents and other senior officials of both countries.  While in both countries, I also visited reception centers that welcome those who have been sent home by the U.S. government after entering our country illegally.  I observed the arrival of a repatriation flight.  I am impressed with the efforts both governments are making to repatriate, resettle, and reintegrate their citizens who have been deported home by our country.

Statement By Secretary Jeh C. Johnson On Southwest Border Security

In February 2016, apprehensions by the Border Patrol on our southwest border – an indicator of total attempts to cross the border illegally – increased slightly from January, but remained substantially below the month-to-month numbers of apprehensions we saw in the latter part of 2015. The numbers of unaccompanied children and family members remained at the same levels as January, which is greatly reduced from the apprehension numbers at the end of 2015. The overall 10 percent increase from January is due to an increase in apprehensions of single adults, from 17,505 in January to 19,917 in February, 71.5 percent of whom are from Mexico. Notably, one year ago, in February 2015, the number of apprehensions of single adults was 19,950, and in February 2014 the number was 28,277.

Statement by Secretary Jeh C. Johnson on Reforms to Family Residential Centers

Last summer, this Department took a number of steps to respond to an unprecedented influx in illegal migration from Central America. Many of those apprehended at the border were adults who brought their children with them. In response to this influx, we increased our family residential center capacity. We recognize, however, the special concerns involved in detaining families with children. And over the past several months, we have implemented significant reforms to how we operate our family residential centers. We are also engaging with stakeholders to listen and discuss their concerns, and will continue to make additional improvements when appropriate. We have established a Federal Advisory Committee with experts in mental health, family and youth services, and other areas to advise on our policies going forward.

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