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Elise Foley from Huffington Post reports on the case of an Honduran teenager, who fled gang violence, settled in with a new family – and is now being forced back to Honduras by the Department of Homeland Security:
In 2011, a then-14-year-old orphan fled Honduras for the U.S., fearful that gang members would come after him after he had refused to join them. He’d grown up in an orphanage and on the streets, and thought that if he stayed in Honduras, he would be killed. He’d seen it happen before.
He made the trip to the U.S. through Mexico and was apprehended soon after crossing the border. Now, he lives in foster care in Zeeland, Michigan. Later this month, he will be forced to return to Honduras, despite desperate efforts from his foster family to allow him to stay.
Stories like his are likely to become more common, as the U.S. this past year hit crisis levels of apprehensions of unaccompanied children and teenagers coming from Central America. More than 68,500 minors traveling without parents were apprehended at the southwest border in the 2014 fiscal year — 18,244 of whom were from Honduras, which has earned the title of “murder capital of the world.”
Now 18, the Honduran teen could serve as a dire example for the fates of some unaccompanied minors in the country.
The Honduran teen’s foster parents, Dirk and Margit de Jong, shared his story, and asked that he not be named for his protection when he returns to Honduras.
The young man is leaving “voluntarily” on October 27th. We’d like to think the Obama administration’s Department of Homeland Security has better things to do than deport teenagers back to the violence they’ve fled. But, sadly, that’s not the case. This is an outrage.