The United States deported a group of Honduran children — some as young as 18 months old — on Monday. They were the first to be sent home since President Barack Obama pledged to speed up the process of sending back illegal immigrant minors from Central America.
Fleeing violence and poverty, tens of thousands of children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala have crossed into the U.S. over the past year, testing U.S. border facilities and sparking intense debate about how to solve the problem.
On Monday a charter flight from New Mexico to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, the city with the highest murder rate in the world, returned 17 Honduran women as well as 12 girls and nine boys, from 18 months to 15 years old, the Honduran government said.
Looking happy, the deported children exited the airport on an overcast and sweltering afternoon. One by one, they filed into a bus, playing with balloons they had been given.