DAILY SIGNAL — A key component of the Obama administration’s response to a crisis of Central Americans fleeing violence before illegally crossing the U.S. southern border is not operational more than four months after it was announced.
On Jan. 13, Secretary of State John Kerry introduced a program to allow Central American children and families to apply for refugee status before making the dangerous journey to the United States.
At that time, administration officials told the New York Times that as many as 9,000 people from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras might be able to come to the U.S. under the program each year, while some would go to other countries in the region.
According to groups that assist refugees, no one has arrived in the U.S. as a refugee through the program.
“This is not an emergency response program, as it was set up to be,” said Stacie Blake, the director of government and community relations for the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. “This is very methodical and careful,” Blake told The Daily Signal. “I think careful and methodical is fine, but I am concerned about women and children in such desperate situations that they can’t stay where they are for fear of being killed, and we don’t have a solution to get them protection quickly right now.”