Despite the efforts of the Obama administration’s efforts to characterize the surge in illegal immigration from Central America as a humanitarian crisis due to increased violence in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, there is ample evidence that the true source of the problem is due to the policy of the administration.
Support for that interpretation comes from the wife of the Honduran president. Ana Garcia de Hernandez is quoted in the July 28 Washington Post as saying, “I want to be very clear about something: Violence and poverty have existed in our region for a long time. But what created this problem [the surge in illegal migration to the United States] also has a lot to do with the lack of clarity in U.S. immigration policy.” The “lack of clarity” clearly refers to the impression among the illegal immigrants that they would be able to stay in the United States if they gained entry.
That impression undoubtedly resulted from the efforts of the administration and congressional Democrats to enact an amnesty for illegal immigrants and the unilateral action of the administration to provide legal status to illegal aliens who entered the country as minors – the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Also adding to that perception may have been the change in law in 2008 that provided special treatment for unaccompanied minor illegal entrants, i.e., taking them out of the hands of the immigration authorities and putting them into the hands of the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The latter action led to a major extension in deportation proceedings as well as a diminishing share of those cases that resulted in deportation.
The Washington Post article also notes that there has been a recent increase in deportations to Honduras thereby discouraging some from starting on the trek to ‘El Norte.’ But it also notes that many of the deported Hondurans voiced the intent to try again.