Guatemalan First Lady visits Arizona to “verify the conditions” of children

guatemalaThe First Lady of Guatemala, Rosa Leal de Perez, visited southern Arizona on Wednesday as part of a four day trip to the United States. The first lady came to “personally verify the conditions” under which the children who fled her country are “retained by the Border Patrol after crossing into the U.S,” according to a statement released by the Guatemalan government.

According to the Guatemalan government, “The migration of children has grown in the last three years and is now entering a daily average of 90 children are crossing the U.S. border, who add to the 52,000 who have already entered the country mostly from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.”

The wife of the president of Guatemala, Otto Perez Molina, met with the Bishop of Tucson Gerald Kicanas, who “reiterated the support of the Church to the problem of migration of unaccompanied minors to that country, and indicated that it will begin the talks with the U.S. government to coordinate assistance for the rights of migrants and prevent further deportations,” according to the statement from the Guatemalan government.

Perez Leal wants to “highlight the situation from the perspective of her Central American country.”

Perez Leal also visited Border Patrol facility Nogales, where hundreds of children are processed daily.

The Guatemala government will not make any effort to advise their citizens to stop coming to the U.S. until at least July 8, 2014. In fact, in the Guatemalan government’s statement they note that the president of Guatemala, Otto Perez Molina, has led the effort to secure agreements such as the “Special Declaration adopted at the Summit of Central American Integration System,” on June 27, 2014.

According to Reuters, “The leaders of the full members of the Central American Integration System (SICA), meeting in Punta Cana (east) adopted a special declaration spurred by the drama that immigrant children traveling unaccompanied to the United States live.”

In his speech at the meeting, the president of Guatemala, Otto Perez Molina, said that countries in the region are “uniting efforts and strategies” to address the situation, according to the report. “ He said the issue should be addressed in a comprehensive way, but always respecting the rights of minors.”

Guatemalan Foreign Minister, Fernando Carrera, announced this week that his country is proposing “measures to ensure family reunification and respect for human rights of unaccompanied migrant children detained on U.S. soil,” reports Reuters.

Fronteras reports that Perez Leal said, “There needs to be a strong campaign to raise awareness, if people don’t want to help, then they shouldn’t oppose it. They need to understand that these children are not delinquents, they didn’t come to do anything bad in this country, they are simply coming to see their family.”

The First Lady also was expected to visit the future home of many of the unaccompanied minors, located just north of downtown Tucson. The former apartment building for college students is heavily guarded and reporters were kept at a distance. She also visited the Greyhound Bus station, where Border Patrol agents drop the newly arrived families off the be dispersed across the country.

The Guatemalan government’s statement emphasized Kicana’s role in the event. “It’s important that our country receive, assist and care for your children, as they have a family and we need to help the meet with their parents if they are here in the United States,” he said. “The church is a family and does not recognize differences between countries, we hope that the bishops of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to discuss how we can work together to improve the situation, it is important that they explain the situation to the Americans” said the bishop according to the Guatemalan government.

Kicanas told Tucson’s Catholics in a newsletter, “This situation reminds me very much of how countries such as Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt are working to assist the enormous number of people crossing their border, fleeing the horrendous conditions caused by the civil war in Syria. Those countries have no obligation to help the people flooding their borders, but the countries have seen the desperate needs of those arriving and have spent millions of dollars and have utilized their country’s resources to provide humanitarian aid. So it is for us now.”
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However, Perez Leal denies that the children from Guatemala are fleeing violence. She says they coming in search of more opportunities.

The First Lady said that the migration of children to the United States has risen due to the children’s hope to reunify with family members in the U.S., according to the official statement by the Guatemalan government.

Last week, the AZDI and James T. Harris of 104.1 KQTH, reported that the U.S. government had been preparing to transport to the Nogales facility for some time. According to Governor Jan Brewer the arrival of hundreds of unaccompanied minors came as a surprise to her.  According to sources, between 140 to 200 children are processed through the Nogales facility daily, and the stream of minors is expected to continue through the summer.

Related articles:

Unaccompanied children to receive services from Southwest Key

Nogales Mayor stands up for Border Patrol agents

15 Comments on "Guatemalan First Lady visits Arizona to “verify the conditions” of children"

  1. Maybe Perez Leal, the First Lady of Guatemala, and the open borders crowd should get their stories straight. She says these children are not subject to violence in her country. Those who claim they have are entitled to asylum here claim just the opposite. Either she is lying or they are.

    It seems to me Perez Leal and her husband should focus on improving the health and safety of children living in that country so they would not feel the need to risk their lives to enter the US illegally. You have to wonder why a “humanitarian” clergyman did not take the opportunity to say that to her since he has previously been quoted in the media as saying these children are entitled to asylum.

    • Renee from Arizona | July 6, 2014 at 12:49 pm |

      Rich great point!

      Perez Leal, Please take all of your children home with you now! Our welfare system is broken and if you want to come to America, do it the right way! Come legal and work hard to support yourself and your baby. Anchor Babies are not allow any longer! Obamacare is killing Americans as well as Obama for not securing our boarders! If we would sneak into Mexico, we are thrown in their jails for 5 years and fined. Why can’t America do that? Wake up America….. Our forefathers didn’t work and die for a total welfare nation. In America. we should not have to choose between medicines and food. Enough is enough. Our Vets need help now and their are being sidelined.

  2. Work on the economy and freedom within your own country Leal and we would not be baby sitting your throw away political pawns.

  3. If all every child in the world had to do to gain “asylum” in the USA was claim that he/she was escaping violence and poverty, at least half of the children in the world would be flocking here to gain their “entitlement” to that asylum.

    Imagine what would become of our nation.

  4. “The wife of the president of Guatemala, Otto Perez Molina, met with the Bishop of Tucson Gerald Kicanas, who “reiterated the support of the Church to the problem of migration of unaccompanied minors to that country, and indicated that it will begin the talks with the U.S. government to coordinate assistance for the rights of migrants and prevent further deportations,” according to the statement from the Guatemalan government.”

    What’s this lady and the Guatelmalan government officials smoking? They care so much about their young citizens that they don’t want them back while demanding that the US stop deporting them back to Guatemala. How hypocritical is that? What’s more is that Obama will openly accept their terms as there is little chance that these young Guatemalans will actually be deported. These kids are being coached on what to say, and if (that’s a real big IF) they show up to their immigration hearings, they will simply lie to the immigration judge and spout off their repetitious story of how bad it is in Guatemala, and that they want to stay here.

    Better here than there, right Senora Molina. That’s how much you care. HYPOCRITE!

    • Of course. If Guatemala can get us to take in their impoverished, they’re going to do it. This takes the burden off of them. Many of these kids are ages 15-17. How are these kids going to catch up? They are uneducated and don’t speak English. How far behind on schooling are they? If they are allowed to stay and can’t make a living, they will resort to crime as a means of survival. Not a scenario for our nation.

      Mexico is a vastly wealthy nation, rich in resources and they have led the way in exporting their uneducated, unskilled citizens to the US so they don’t have to support them. They drew up the model for the rest of Central America. Our government has done so little to stop this that in the coming decades these people will become the majority and turn our nation into a third world nation. Sadly I think our nation will fracture apart when that begins to happen. We’re not going through an industrial revolution where we need a lot of cheap labor or I wouldn’t be concerned where these people are going to work so they’re not a burden on society. We’re at a point where we need highly skilled workers and that’s not what we’re getting.

      Enforce the immigration laws across the board President Obama. Nothing short of that will work.

  5. After I just read this article and all the feel good BS that went with it I threw up in my mouth a little bit. This country can not continue to be the dumpster for every social problem in any country in this world. There has to be a stop. If there is not then we will not survive as a nation. Regina Romero wants the send a feel good letter to the president to say stop deportations and to open the federal purse to help the cities pay for the ILLEGAL hoard that is invading this country and overwhelming social services of the cities. Gee, ILLEGAL immigration does have a cost doesn’t it. The COT is broke and facing a 30 million dollar shortfall. The federal government is 17+ trillion in debt and there is no more money and yet you want to keep supporting the ILLEGALS to the detriment of the cities and this country and its once great middle class. How stupid is that…..but what the hell our liberal politicians have never met a crisis that they didn’t like and this one is of their own making and they want us to pay for it too. Screw them.

  6. Call to Action | July 3, 2014 at 5:11 am |

    Who the hell is she to judge the condition of the children. If she cares so much why are they fleeing.

    Call to Action*** Send her back along with the children and secure the border, Mr President protect your citizens. you have failed at your number one priority.

    Lead, Follow, get out of the way or Resign(better yet)

  7. Send them back with her, as she caused it. talk about chutzpah!

    chutz·pah
    ˈho͝otspə,ˈKHo͝otspə,-spä/Submit
    nouninformal
    shameless audacity; impudence.
    synonyms: audacity, cheek, guts, nerve, boldness, temerity

  8. Wayne B (rain) | July 3, 2014 at 8:28 am |

    Reading about our new mine master Hudbay I came across this Guatamalan information the other day:

    W5-Searching for gold at the end of the Guatemalan rainbow

    Excerpt:
    Uniformed security squads dominate the scenery in the airport, on the streets, ringing the wealthy and the powerful. In the smaller towns, local men in t-shirts and khakis lean against storefronts or pace bank entrances with automatic weapons slung across their chests. Everybody’s alert in a country roiling with murder, drug trafficking, theft, kidnapping and a long-running dispute between those who want to develop Guatemala and ancient Indigenous cultures with mystic ties to the past.

  9. You can reunite your citizens back in Gautamala. These countries need to stop using the US as their welfare provider and start taking care of their poor.

  10. So the wife of a head of state comes here and immediately visits a member of the clergy. I guess she’s looking for an ally. I always thought that when governmental VIPs show up they would meet with their counterparts here. Wrong again. Of course she could see Obama and get all the nice answers from that communist. Why not visit Brewer and find out what happens??? All these third world countries figure that America has deep pockets and porous borders so of course go there and get on the gravy train. Well our pockets aren’t that deep since we began policing the world and taking care of every illegal alien (the correct term) that shows up. We will go down in flames under the illegal alien pressure. too bad real citizens will bear the brunt.

  11. Hey lady, take your children home. “Bus driver, move that bus.”

  12. Wayne B (rain) | July 3, 2014 at 2:25 pm |

    Tucson needs to have a big town meeting like that town in CA. ASAP.

  13. why did they not lease an airplane and take them home with THEM? Maybe they would also take the greedy halfas to assit in the relocation. Is there not a lot of jungle down there to lose them in?

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