United Nations: Central American Children are Refugees

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 A young girl cries as her home and neighborhood are forcefully dismantled in a shanty town after the government claimed that the settlement was illegal
From and

The ongoing humanitarian crisis taking place along the southern border continues as thousands of child migrants make their into the U.S. from Central America. President Obama visited Texas governor Rick Perry on Wednesday to discuss his proposal for additional funding from congress to address the situation.

But congressional Republicans are calling for more than just money. “The number one message to stop this is planes arriving in Honduras and Guatemala with children arriving home. That sends the message," said Senator Tom Coburn during a Homeland Security Committee hearing Wednesday.

But the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees announced Thursday that they believe the United States and Mexico should recognize the children as refugees. They say that  children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras should not be forced to return home where they will be subject to persecution.

Representatives from the United States, Mexico, and Central America met yesterday in Nicaragua to discuss the responsibility of these nations to aid refugees, and the United Nation is hoping a regional agreement is made granting the children refugee status.

What is the distinction between being a refugee and an immigrant? And what do these terms mean both legally and politically for the young kids crossing the border?

For answers, we turn to Jana Mason, the Senior Advisor for External Affairs at the United Nations, and David Simmons, an adjunct professor of law at University of Denver.