Latin American Coalition Hosts Talks on Minors Crossing the Bord - myfoxcarolinas.com

Latin American Coalition Hosts Talks on Minors Crossing the Border

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Charlotte, NC -

Dozens of Charlotte community members met at the Latin American Coalition Monday, to discuss the reasons behind why thousands of minors from Central America are crossing the border.

"What we hope would happen is that the president and the government issues some kind of refugee status to these children, so that they can stay here with family members," said Armando Bellmas of the Latin American Coalition.

Bellmas said the majority of minors crossing the border are trying to reunite with their family members who have already made the trip. "It's a land of opportunity and so there's never going to be that stop in migration and unfortunately, a lot of these kids having to do that by themselves is something that has to be addressed. Not just say 'hey, don't do this' because that's not going to stop people from coming," said Bellmas.

The Obama administration has launched a pricey "Dangers Awareness Campaign," that will fund hundreds of billboards and thousands of public service announcements for radio and television stations in target countries, claiming the trip across the border is dangerous and immigrants who make it here will not be allowed to stay.

Nine-year-old Lexdani Ochoa said she crossed the border with her grandmother two months ago. Her mother, Jessica, traveled to the states when Lexdani was only one-year-old. Bellmas translated for the family, "her husband, who's a police officer in Honduras, started arresting gang members and their lives were being threatened and so one by one they started to move away."

Bellmas said for the Ochoa family, the consequences associated with illegally traveling to America, outweighed the dangers of living in Honduras. "When faced with either living with the danger of being killed and the violence and the poverty they were experiencing in Honduras and crossing all the way through Central America and through Mexico to get to the U.S., that it was weighing the two options and coming to the U.S. was the better option," explained Bellmas.

Lexdani now has looming immigration court dates to determine her status and decide whether or not she will be deported.

 






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