Kerry asks Central America for help on immigration

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the Department of State in Washington, D.C. (File) (Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images)
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the Department of State in Washington, D.C. (File) (Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images)
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Updated: 7/01 2:04 pm

PANAMA CITY, Panama (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling for Central American nations to work with the Obama administration to curb a massive influx of unaccompanied children who are arriving in the United States illegally.

Kerry met Tuesday with the presidents of El Salvador and Guatemala and the foreign minister of Honduras. He said the crisis has reached a "critical time" and that urgent concerted action was needed to resolve the cases of more than 50,000 youngsters already detained in the U.S. 

Kerry also urged immediate steps to address poverty and crime, the underlying causes of the phenomenon.

Kerry said the region's governments have a responsibility to protect children. He is in Panama to attend the inauguration of the country's new president.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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