The presidents of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador will meet with President Obama on Friday.
But before the meeting, the heads of state are making the rounds in Washington, telling their side of an immigration crisis that has driven tens of thousands of unaccompanied children to the U.S. border.
Divergent plans are now emerging from the House and Senate on how best to deal with the influx of unaccompanied children from Central America across the border.
Though both would offer the president less money than he asked for to deal with the crisis, a major battle has developed over whether to amend a 2008 law that makes it harder to speedily deport the children.
Close to 60,000 children have crossed illegally into the U.S. since last October. They've sparked a crisis. But is it a humanitarian crisis or a public health one?
The children carry "swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus, and tuberculosis," and can spread the diseases to the U.S., wrote Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., a retired obstetrician-gynecologist, in a July 7 letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Many of the immigrant children now crossing the U.S.-Mexico border come from Central America, escaping violence in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. To find out more about the unstable conditions in those countries, Robert Siegel speaks with Joy Olson, the executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America.
The Obama administration's request for more funds on immigration could get a congressional vote soon. Meanwhile, the crisis at the border is complicating Obama's plan to take unilateral action to ease deportations. The politics of immigration are shifting quickly.
Anti-illegal immigration activists are planning several hundred protests in cities across the country on Friday and Saturday, part of a growing backlash against the federal government's efforts to temporarily house migrant children detained at the border.
Protesters say they are concerned about safety, as the Obama administration pushes to move detainees from Texas to shelters run by nonprofits in other states.
"They call me the Wolf," said the 25-year-old human smuggler sitting in front of me, sipping a Coke and stepping away for frequent cellphone calls.
"Everybody says we're the problem, but it's the reverse. The gringos don't want to get their hands dirty. So I bring them the Mexicans and Central Americans to do the dirty work for them," he says, smiling.
Audie Cornish talks with Michelle Abarca, a supervising attorney with the Americans for Immigrant Justice, on how the surge in unaccompanied children has impacted her organization. Abarca also recommends ways of coping with the influx.
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Sonia Nazario wrote a highly-informative view on the recent influx of children to the U.S. from Central America for the New York Times. Nazario says we should view this not as an immigration crisis, but as a refugee crisis.
CRISTIAN OMAR REYES, an 11-year-old sixth grader in the neighborhood of Nueva Suyapa, on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa, tells me he has to get out of Honduras soon - "no matter what." In March, his father was robbed and murdered by gangs while working as a security guard protecting a pastry truck.