The immigration issue continues to rage in the United States, as over 50,000 children have been detained by U.S. border patrol this year alone.
In recent months, the U.S. has been overwhelmed with finding shelter for children entering the country illegally, The Washington Post reports. Parents in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala are encouraging their children as young as six years old to escape the crime and poverty in their countries by traveling-on their own-into the United States.
In response, representatives from the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference are launching a campaign, traveling to churches in Central America to send a tough love message to parents: do not send your children to the American border.
NHCLC President Dr. Samuel Rodriguez says his organization seeks to provide resources to impoverished families in Latin America and inform them of the dangers associated with sending unaccompanied minors into another country.
"In meeting with pastors in central America, we heard from them the angst, the consternation of parents desiring their kids to have a better day. So they send them to America" he told CBN News.
"Here's the problem: they leave Mexico, leave their parents, they leave gang violence, they leave drugs. Then, they enter east LA without their parents. Then, the probability of them engaging in gangs and drugs without their parents in L.A. is the same probability they have in Central America."
Rodriguez says the solution to the problem is found within the home.
"The main firewall for this lies in the hands of parents committed to Christ and providing a safe structure," he said.
Dr. Rodriguez also noted that children attempting to cross the border alone are highly susceptible to sex trafficking.
"It is an amazing risk you are taking," he warns.
"If you love your children, don't send them to the U.S. border."
He encourages families to make every effort to provide a safe environment for their children despite the poverty and crime surrounding them.
"Provide a strong family structure in your nation pray for an awakening, believing in God that the best is yet to come," he said.
To find out more about the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and learn how to pray for their ministry, visit their website.