What Central American countries have planned for migrant childre - Tucson News Now

What Central American countries have planned for migrant children

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NOGALES, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

As more migrant children arrive in Arizona, foreign officials are worried about the lasting effect of a mass exodus from Central America.

"We are losing our youth," said Jose Joaquin Chacon, Consul General of El Salvador to Tucson. "They are our future."

The consul said it's the same for any country that's dealing with violence and human traffickers who spread stories of a quick and easy trip to freedom in the United States.

"The rumor grows and grows," he said.  "But the only thing the that matters to the traffickers is money."

So the country is working on incentive plans to keep children in school and focused on their studies. Chacon said it's a matter of keeping the youth engaged and on a positive track, even when there are calls for them to make the trek to the U.S. from family on this side of the border.

"We have to explain to the parents that it's not right to bring your children to this country in an irregular way," said Chacon. "Precisely for the risks that they put on the children."

El Salvador is working on help for the children who have already entered the United States illegally. Chacon said the assistance will come together but the prevention programs will take some time.

"It's not going to happen overnight," he said. "But we're working on it."

Every child's case is different, which means some will reunite with families in the United States, while others will return to El Salvador, according to Chacon.

As consul, he said he continues to tour the facility and meet with the children. He and his fellow consuls work with Border Patrol agents to make sure sickness doesn't spread and that the children's legal rights are upheld.

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