Today, Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) expressed support for the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) adoption of "Kids First: A Response to the Southern Border Humanitarian Crisis." The purpose of this comprehensive set of policy recommendations is to help guide the Obama Administration and Congress' response to the surge of unaccompanied minors arriving at the southern border of the United States.
As a Vice-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Congresswoman Chu released the following statement:
"Our recommendations reflect our moral responsibility as a nation to protect and treat unaccompanied children with care and compassion, and do what is in the best interest of the child. We strongly believe that the answer to this crisis cannot be fast-tracked repatriations that curtail due process and may block children from seeking protection," said Rep. Chu. "Most importantly, we must stand against any legislative fix that diminishes protections under existing law and risks pushing these children back into violence."
Since 2011, the number of unaccompanied minors attempting to cross the southwest border has drastically increased. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) predicts that an estimated 90,000 unaccompanied children will attempt to enter the country by the end of this year. Many of the children attempting to cross into the U.S. are fleeing extremely violent environments in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras - collectively known as the Northern Triangle of Central America. Drug cartel and gang-related activity are the main cause for most of the violence occurring in the region.