More funding promised to Central American child refugees, Lee warns of new influx

Immigrants who have been detained while crossing the border, thousands of which who are often unaccompanied.
AP photo by Rick Loomis

Thousands of Central American children fleeing drug wars and poverty are overwhelming the San Francisco nonprofits who care for them, but new information from the mayor shows this may just be the beginning.

Yesterday, just hours before Supervisor David Campos' resolution to bolster funding to aid the incoming refugees passed, Mayor Ed Lee warned the Guardian and other journalists that San Francisco is bracing for another influx of even more children in need.

“I met with the federal Health Service System to prepare our city for the possibility of a higher influx [of refugees],” he said. “The numbers seem to be coming in, though they haven't reached us yet.”

Campos’ measure to focus funding on the needs of Central American child refugees passed by unanimous vote, likely because its sorely needed. Nonprofits in San Francisco like the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) and other sounded the alarm: there are too many refugees, and not enough caregivers and legal aid to help them. More than 36,000 Central American children (often unaccompanied) entered the US illegally between Oct. 2013 and May this year, according to widely reported federal data. The number of Mexican children entering the US dropped to about 17,000. 

But why are they coming here? Many reasons, but mostly they’re fleeing violence. Honduras, for instance, was the murder capital of the world, with 79 people murdered in every 100,000, according to Reuters. Neighboring El Salvador didn’t do much better, with the second highest murder rate per capita in the world. 

"I am from Honduras and I just turned 16-years-old," a teenager named Juan said, in a statement from CARECEN, "I came after my father was murdered and I feared for my life that I was next. If I go back I'm not sure that I can go back and live a good life. I want to go to school and live so I can grow up to do something good."

False rumors in Central America that the US is offering permisos, meaning, permanent status, also spurred an influx of refugees. 

CARECEN's Washington D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco locations are advocating for President Barack Obama to declare a state of emergency and aid these refugees. But as the federal government grasps at possible solutions, local government is stepping in to help those reaching the city. 

“There’s a long history on this board on calling out against injustices we’ve seen in different parts of the world,” Campos said at the board yesterday as he introduced his measure, adding “They’re escaping not just political turmoil but violence in their lives.”

“These are children,” he said. 

Lee said one of the biggest challenges in helping these children may be a cultural one.

“I’m trying to wrap my arms around the fact that many of these kids don't speak Spanish,” Lee told the Guardian yesterday. “They speak Mayan and different languages. This will test our cultural competency.”

Campos is planning a hearing on how best to focus funding to aid the child refugees, but hasn’t yet settled on a date for said hearing. 


Because they're all required to show up in court and they're all most likely going to be deported. Campos won't be able to count on these compadres for votes when he runs for mayor in 2026.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 16, 2014 @ 4:48 pm

making sure underclass blacks stay that way.

Posted by gust on Jul. 16, 2014 @ 7:24 pm

All these children without families or relatives to love them is very, very , very sad indeed. I was wondering if any of these children will be eligible for adoption by US citizens. These kids need a caring and stable family to provide shelter, food, clothing, medical attention, education, and of course love. Is there any information available yet if these displaced kids will be able/eligible for being adopted here? I would appreciate any info. on this matter! Thank you and God Bless!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 31, 2014 @ 7:41 pm

I totally agree any information?

Posted by Guest on Aug. 03, 2014 @ 5:52 pm

We need to get rid of Campos! What a nut and a socialist! Where does he think the money is coming from? From his lover (a non-tax payer ivy school lawyer) or him (also non-working and been a politician and wants to be life long politician on the backs of SF tax payers!).

No to Campost! No to his crazy propositions, No to his sad regulations and no more throw away policies! Stop his madness!
Stop his tax and spend lifestyle! (and funding his ego. The ego of a lawyer.)

Posted by Recall Compost on Jul. 16, 2014 @ 8:19 pm

The more money we throw at them, the more of them will come here.

Time for some tough love.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 16, 2014 @ 8:30 pm

They're children, for God's sake. What the hell is wrong with you? I'd like to show you some "tough love."

Posted by Guest on Jul. 16, 2014 @ 10:55 pm

there will be no limit to how many more of them will show up.

I want Campos to tell us which programs he wants to cut to fund this? Is he taking money away from citizens and giving them to illegals? That's really not a vote winner

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 12:43 am

Look carefully at the photo.
They do not look like "children".

Every nation needs to have a one child per family policy.
Legalize abortion.
Having done criminal defense for 40 years,
I believe we are just liberal suckers for falling
for this open door policy.
Remember when Cuba dumped thousands of its criminal here.
What a massive crime wave they set off across the US.

Posted by Paul Kangas on Jul. 18, 2014 @ 6:00 pm

or will be recruited in a few years?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 7:28 am

Violence in Honduras, already very high, has skyrocketed in the atmosphere of impunity following the US-backed overthrow of the democratic government in 2009. Many of these kids' families have been murdered by drug gangs. It takes a lot for a 10-year old kid to risk their life crossing several countries. It's heartless to turn them away, especially since we had a hand in creating the conditions these kids are living in.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 3:58 pm

You may have noticed.

Posted by comarade X on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 4:55 pm

Actions have consequences well into the future.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 9:10 pm

The revolution was in 2009 and there was no 2009 influx.

As it turns out the the Children's Crusade of 2014 is because of maybe drug gangs and opportunism.

I find American foreign policy to be horrid, if you posted some coherent statement on the terribleness of American foreign policy I would agree, some nutty rant about the revolution of 2009 is sorely lacking in a connection to the opportunism of today.

Man child progressives link up the voices in their heads again.

Posted by comarade X on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 9:31 pm

Look at the body language. They are all hiding their faces. Feeling guilty? They are not "children".

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2014 @ 6:01 am

children. There are criminals, murderers and terrorists their age all over the world. Why are we harboring and mollycoddling them?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2014 @ 6:15 am

They're covering their faces because if the drug gangs see them, they'll be murdered when they're sent back. Our policy is getting these kids killed.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 19, 2014 @ 7:29 am

We cannot save everyone and most voters prefer tax dollars to help our own people

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2014 @ 7:51 am

Actually, in this case it is our responsibility because US foreign and economic policy in Central America pushes immigrants north to flee violence caused by those policies and pulls immigrants north to seek to recover the resources that those policies brought northwards.

The last instance of this as that the mere potential that an Honduran president would amend the constitution to serve the people of Honduras was met with a swift and illegal coup d'etat by the elites that the US fully supported.

Posted by marcos on Jul. 19, 2014 @ 8:19 am

Federal responsibility and not our problem.

Our job is to help send them back to where they illegally came from.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2014 @ 8:33 am

If our federal taxes are used to create these hellholes, then these are our chickens coming home to roost.

Posted by marcos on Jul. 19, 2014 @ 9:09 am

The city has no jurisdiction. Nor does the state for that matter.

The real problem here is that it is too easy for them to cross the border.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 20, 2014 @ 12:24 am

They erased my well tohught out comments, this is your new America where a citizen and his speech is erased, this is it people your new America worse than Nazis even the Nazis let you know they were screwing you, these devils do it by just earasing you silently.
Americ is being destroyed millions of illegals coddeld, fed, cothed, and they are driving away jobs, freedom, bringing disease and gangs and future democrat voters to further bring more drive down wages, screw America's poor, there is no more America people, no more freedom of speech, elections are rigged, illegals hijack elections corporations are controlling us. Politicians are all criminals America is lost, no way we will ever get it back, no revolution will work, we screwed you can thank white, liberals the slef hating and white sraight male hating liberal white women who destroyed America, they love everyone BUT straight white men.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 2:12 am

Thank you, guest. Your ESL classes are coming along nicely. I left a fresh roll of tin foil for you in the breakfast nook.

Posted by Chromefields on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 7:13 am

For "progressives" to put their ideology into action by taking in 3, 4, or more refugees, and to house, feed, and care for them indefinitely. Greg, how many can we put you down for?

Posted by Chromefields on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 6:42 am

I would love to adopt some children! Please somebody make this possible.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 21, 2014 @ 10:44 am

tough love? how much should these children go through? My Fiance and I live pay check to pay check. We work hard for what we have. And I would happly open my door to these children. Just because they were not born here does not give us any right to judge them. They are coming here to live without fear but what do we do? Lock them up in detention centers and let them sit in fear that from one day to another they are going to be sent back to what they were running from.
How dare any of us from turning our backs on children!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 7:26 am
Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 8:04 am

Step up, guest, and take them in. You might have to make an effort, though. I don't think the refugees are going door to door.

Now join me in the reductio ad absurdum chorus: WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?

Posted by Chromefields on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 8:11 am

Well, we want psychotic Walnut Creek lawyers to stop trolling every online forum in the Bay Area, too.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 9:31 am


Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 10:16 am

he sure does seem compelled to put his careers, such as they are, in jeopardy.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 10:53 am
Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 11:06 am
Posted by Paul Kangas on Jul. 18, 2014 @ 6:12 pm

Perhaps SFBG could provide information on how concerned citizens can provide material donations or volunteer to ease the humanitarian crisis, which is happening whether folks like it or not. Surely these transient children need interim clothes, food, etc., even if they're going to wind up being deported.

Posted by Mike Joyce on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 8:24 am

They need it more than you - because of The Children.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 8:55 am

for every non-profit that wants a handout.

Time for some tough love.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 9:15 am

So SF says F the homeless Vets littering our streets, throw money at illegals. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 9:54 am

money at the homeless.

In both cases, it just encourages them.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 10:04 am

ANyone that has AN issue with refugees, especially someone from ANother country, is not being ChristiAN, AmericAN or ethical. Why am I not sur[rised, Probal?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 11:40 am

We can barely support ourselves.

This is a federal issue

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 11:05 pm

Oh look. Lilli outed himself as the "ChristianPatriotLandowner" twit who hates Asians.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2014 @ 11:39 pm

Like when he revealed that he was "Troll Barrier".

It's a Freudian slip because in reality he is proud of his trolling and thinks it makes a positive contribution. So he just cannot resist revealing it, like a criminal who gets caught bragging about getting away with a crime.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2014 @ 1:35 am

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