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Influx of illegal unaccompanied children a "humanitarian" situation: White House

Source: Reuters - Tue, 10 Jun 2014 22:11 PM
Author: Reuters
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The White House calls it an "an urgent humanitarian situation."

Thousands of children crossing illegally from Central America without their parents, without any adults.

And this is where nearly a thousand of them have already been bussed to.

A border patrol facility in Nogales, Arizona, near the Mexican border.

Florida Republican Senator Marc Rubio speaking to CBS on Monday.

SOUNDBITE: SEN. MARC RUBIO (R-FL) SAYING:

"This is something we should approach first and foremost as a humanitarian issue, not simply an immigration one. Having a large number of children crossing that border by traffickers is just going to be a magnate for all sorts of bad actors."

Many of the children are escaping dangerous conditions back home, in countries like El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

U.S. immigration officials hope to connect the children with relatives across the country, until ICE can set up a court date for each child.

SOUNDBITE: IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY MAURICE GOLDMAN SAYING:

"It's an unprecedented situation as far as the numbers go."

Arizona immigration attorney says the children face a so-called Credible Fear Interview process to let them stay in the country.

SOUNDBITE: IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY MAURICE GOLDMAN SAYING:

"With minors, I think you're dealing with a sticky scenario, because many of them may not understand or comprehend why there're here, or how they got to this process, depending on their age, they may not have the mental capacity to do so."

Homeland Security says it'll make custody decisions for each child on a case by case basis.

Some of the children will join their relatives in the U.S..

But others, some as young as four years old, will face deportation.

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