Hispanic Evangelical Leader Says Children Crossing U.S.-Mexico Border Should Be Sent Home

Amalia Diaz, a 22-year-old from Honduras, holds her 5-month-old daughter, Shilin, as they wait in Tequixquiac, Mexico, for a northbound train to pass. They plan to jump onboard and ride on top of the train all the way to the United States border. (Carrie Kahn/NPR)
Amalia Diaz, a 22-year-old from Honduras, holds her 5-month-old daughter, Shilin, as they wait in Tequixquiac, Mexico, for a northbound train to pass. They plan to jump onboard and ride on top of the train all the way to the United States border. (Carrie Kahn/NPR)

A Hispanic evangelical leader says most of the unaccompanied children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border would be better off with their parents and should be sent home.

The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez says those without parents in the U.S. could fall victim to the same drug gangs in American cities that threaten their lives in Central America.

Rodriguez is president of NHCLC/Conela, which represents more than 40,000 Hispanic evangelical churches in the U.S. and 500,000 worldwide.

NHCLC/Conela plans to broadcast public service announcements in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala discouraging parents from sending their children on the dangerous trek to the U.S. border, and is urging Central American pastors to spread that message throughout their communities.

Rodriguez says that while NHCLC/Conela opposes illegal immigration, its churches are offering temporary shelter, food and clothing to children packed into U.S. detention facilities while their cases are processed.

SOURCE: The Associated Press

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