Biden announces aid for Guatemalan youth - FOX Carolina 21

Biden announces aid for Guatemalan youth

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Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina, right, talks with Vice President Joe Biden about issues impacting youth in Central America. (Source: FOX) Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina, right, talks with Vice President Joe Biden about issues impacting youth in Central America. (Source: FOX)

GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA (FOX) - Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina is asking the U.S. to start a temporary work program for Guatemalans seeking to enter the U.S. and to grant temporary protected status for Guatemalan's already in the country.

The request came during an official state visit on Friday by Vice President Joe Biden who also met with El Salvador's president and other high-ranking ministers from Honduras and Mexico.

President Obama sent the vice president to Central America to warn people against illegally entering the U.S. and to announce that the U.S. will be detaining families at the border instead of releasing them to return on their own to immigration courts.

Biden's trip is an attempt to stop the flood of illegal immigrants currently crossing the U.S.-Mexican border. The vice president also used his trip to announce a new program the U.S. is launching in Guatemala to help at risk kids in the region.

"And we are pleased to announce today that we are launching a $40 million, five-year program here in Guatemala to increase economic and educational opportunities for at-risk youth. These issues come together in the challenges that brought me to Guatemala in the first place today," Biden said.

The Obama administration has already pledged $93 million to programs aimed at reducing violence in Central America.

Rape, gang recruitment, and homicides have been on the rise in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador in recent years. The violence is seen as the key factor for driving people to America.

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