First lady of Honduras visits detention center

Ana Rosalinda García Carías, the first lady of Honduras, discouraged citizens of her country from attempting to cross the US-Mexico border illegally and pledged to address the problems that led them to flee.

Posted: Jul 3, 2018 7:28 PM
Updated: Jul 3, 2018 7:30 PM

The first lady of Honduras discouraged citizens of her country from attempting to cross the US-Mexico border illegally and pledged to address the problems that led them to flee.

"Stay in the country and let's look for solutions to support you," Ana García Carías, the wife of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández said on Monday.

García Carías made the comments after touring an immigration processing center in McAllen, Texas, with members of a Honduran government child migrant task force that she leads. The first lady has visited shelters for migrants in the US and Mexico before; this visit marked her first since the Trump administration's zero-tolerance immigration policy took effect.

Honduras -- the second-poorest country in Central America, with 60.9% of the population living in poverty -- is one of the top five countries from where undocumented immigrants enter the United States. Of 12.1 million undocumented immigrants living in the US in 2014, 400,000 were from Honduras, according to Department of Homeland Security Statistics published in 2017.

During her visit to Ursula Processing Center, she said she was able to confirm that children are no longer being separated from their parents. From the processing center, families are sent within 72 hours to detention centers in Texas, she said. Or, they are released with electronic monitors on their ankles, she said.

She said she spoke with representatives from US Customs and Border Protection about its plans for processing migrants under the Trump administration's executive order, but she did not provide details. Nor did she elaborate on what she described as a conversation about information-sharing between the US and Honduras about providing consular services for unaccompanied children.

In fiscal year 2017, 40,810 unaccompanied children were referred to the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement, 23% of whom were from Honduras.

Widespread gang violence fuels the instability and suffering. Criminals have extorted Hondurans into paying an arbitrary "war tax" for their survival. Those who can't pay often are killed. One man who entered the US from Honduras with his 3-year-old son last week described fleeing such a threat. Another woman who spoke to CNN said gang members threatened to kill her and her son if he did not join them.

García Carías said she spent time with families and unaccompanied minors from Honduras and discussed the reasons that led them to flee. Some said they wished to be reunited with relatives; some sought better economic opportunities than those available in Honduras; some said they fled violence.

García Carías said Honduras' President is committed to fighting those circumstances, and urged families to stay in the country for their children's safety.

"More jobs, more education, better infrastructure and the safety of all is a priority for the government."

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2511182

Reported Deaths: 56008
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings33248910839
Queens31448010282
Suffolk2384943593
Nassau2137303286
Bronx2071526748
New York1675934633
Westchester1434342338
Erie1056611940
Richmond886031932
Monroe837081182
Orange57270909
Rockland52918779
Onondaga51624757
Dutchess35451497
Albany30581388
Oneida28418582
Broome24183403
Niagara23854397
Saratoga20080198
Ulster17205278
Schenectady16584227
Rensselaer14669167
Putnam1243996
Chautauqua12308173
Oswego11505112
Chemung10772153
St. Lawrence10392126
Steuben10019173
Ontario9278110
Jefferson870974
Cayuga8600107
Sullivan842083
Wayne807484
Cattaraugus7613113
Genesee6933132
Herkimer6694126
Clinton665438
Tompkins646559
Fulton6244102
Madison6124102
Montgomery5878138
Livingston566871
Warren538682
Cortland529479
Tioga502571
Columbia4977111
Chenango464986
Allegany456296
Washington454667
Otsego453554
Greene435186
Wyoming434458
Orleans428587
Franklin421820
Lewis355638
Delaware352147
Seneca271963
Schoharie227621
Essex226331
Yates160528
Schuyler151817
Hamilton4343
Unassigned14826
Out of NY0310
Utica
Partly Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 62°
Oneonta
Partly Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 60°
Herkimer
Partly Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 62°
Old Forge
Partly Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 62°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Game Day Deals - New Deals Each Week
Chapter Aesthetic October Giveaway
Cool To Be Kind 2021
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve