The current influx of unaccompanied children at the United States' southern border is an international humanitarian and refugee crisis in desperate need of resolution. Thousands of young lives are in jeopardy as children seek refuge after fleeing from Central America's "Northern Triangle"—the countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. These countries are overrun by organized crime, violence, human trafficking and persecution, and the region has the world's highest homicide rate. San Pedro Sula in Honduras, for example, is considered the murder capital of the world—with 187 murders per 100,000 inhabitants—driven by a surge in gang and drug-trafficking violence.
As an organization that represents those who teach and care for the next generation, the AFT has called for an immediate response from the federal government that puts the safety and well-being of children first, while seeking resolution to the root causes of the forced migration. The AFT is committed to working with local leaders, community partners, faith-based networks and other labor unions to ensure that the health, educational, safety and legal needs of the unaccompanied children are being met.