1:07 pm - Sunday January 20, 2019

Children illegally crossing border subject to repatriation: Obama

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Children illegally crossing the border would be repatriated to their home countries, U.S. President Barack Obama has told visiting leaders of the Central American countries.

“Within a legal framework and a humanitarian framework and proper due process, children who do not have proper claims and families with children who do not have proper claims, at some point will be subject to repatriation to their home countries,” Mr. Obama told reporters after the meeting.

“All of us recognise that we have a shared responsibility to address this problem,” the U.S. president, however, observed.

Heads of States of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador met Mr. Obama at the White House on Friday, during which illegal immigration, in particular that of children was the main issue to be discussed.

“What I did was share with my counterparts here the efforts that the United States has in our continuing response, including unprecedented numbers of Border Patrol agents and resources at the border, more facilities to properly care for these children that have already arrived, and more resources for our immigration courts to process the claims of these children in a way that’s orderly and timely that protects their due process but also expedites the length of time that it takes to assure that they’ve gotten a fair deal,” he said.

Mr. Obama said he emphasised to all three Presidents that the American people and his administration have great compassion for these children and want to make sure that they are cared for the way all children should be cared for.

“We have seen an outpouring of generosity from not only families at the borders themselves that are providing assistance — you have non-profit organisations and churches that are providing assistance — but actually from across the country people have expressed their concern and compassion for these children,” he said.

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