Wednesday, January 13, 2016
It's not just the Peace Corps that considers El Salvador to be dangerous. The State Department reissued a warning in June for Americans considering traveling there, citing the rate of violent crimes in the country. According to the State Department, 34 Americans have been murdered in the country since January 2010, including a 9-year-old, and only six of their cases resulted in convictions. Although "there is no information to suggest that U.S. citizens are specifically targeted by criminals," the department warns, "crime and violence are serious problems throughout the country."
Salvadorans are in the greatest danger, which many experts say is the primary reason people, especially mothers and children, are fleeing for other countries. Since October, border agents have apprehended more than 5,000 Salvadoran children traveling without their parents and more than 7,200 Salvadoran families.
The Peace Corps suspended its Honduras program in 2012 for safety reasons. Violence there has dropped sharply over the last two years, but the country's homicide rate of 61 per 100,000, according to preliminary figures reported last month in the local press, still makes it one of the world’s most violent. The State Department issued a travel warning for Honduras, similar to the one issued for El Salvador, in October.The feds are facing harsh criticism over the mass deportations, with immigration rights advocates, and other critics, calling them inhumane and shameful.
The administration allows people from El Salvador to apply for temporary protected status, but only if they have been in the U.S. since at least March 2001. Many House Democrats and activists are calling on the administration to extend this status to Central Americans who entered the country more recently. Hondurans can apply for temporary protected status if they have been in the U.S. since January 1999.
Tags: huffington post , department of homeland security , immigration and customs enforcement , el salvador , guatemala , honduras , murder capital of the world , deportation , rads , immigration , obama