Influx of Central American Youth Could Strengthen US - Immigration Lawyer

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Accepting large number of immigrant minors from Central America would make the United States stronger economically and prevent future national security threats, an immigration lawyer and retired Lt. Col. Margaret Stock told RIA Novosti Wednesday.

WASHINGTON, August 13 (RIA Novosti) - Accepting large number of immigrant minors from Central America would make the United States stronger economically and prevent future national security threats, an immigration lawyer and retired Lt. Col. Margaret Stock told RIA Novosti Wednesday.

“We could easily absorb these young people,” Stock stated during a discussion hosted by the National Immigration Law Center (NILC). “This is not dangerous population. When you’re talking about young people, this is the opportunity to have an impact on their lives, educate them, make them workers who contribute to Social Security and so forth, and pay taxes.”

Stock noted that the US has a long history of being a safe haven for such people fleeing violent conflict and absorbing new populations “made our country stronger.”

Conversely, sending children back to countries that are unable to absorb them, that are also dealing with problems of violent crime and criminal networks poses a risk to the US national security, according to Stock.

“Part of the reason this crisis was created was because of the mass deportation of criminals and gang members to Central America,” Stock said. She cited the Commander of US Southern Command, noting, “[he said] a huge national security threat to the United States is the fact that these countries have been destabilized.”

According to the US Customs and Border Control, the number of children fleeing from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador rose to over 62,000 this year. The US Congress was unable to pass immigration reform for what many call a “broken” immigration system, Barack Obama came under attack for statements he made saying he would handle the crisis through executive powers. NILC members noted that while the President cannot constitutionally grant immunity to the millions of youth immigrants, he does have the power to class a group of persons as refugees.

“They are obviously fleeing from a violent situation that we have not been able to deal with on an international level,” Stock said. “Our country has long been a safe haven for people fleeing from conflict in other countries. Any of our ancestors came fleeing the exact same thing.”

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