My Spanish is a bit rudimentary, but I can carry on simple conversations, and I can read newspapers pretty well. I follow the major newspapers from Mexico, and Central and South America, from time to time, and the gang violence in El Salvador and Honduras has been a major topic for years in the Latin American press. Despite the severity of the problem it has been underreported in the United States until the arrival of thousands of unaccompanied children at our southern border forced the issue into the public eye here.
I'm not going to give an opinion on what should be done, except to say that this is a major humanitarian crisis, not an extension of the debate on immigration policy.
The Department of Homeland Security released a paper which was summarized in an article on the Pew Research website entitled DHS: Violence, poverty, is driving children to flee Central America to U.S.
The report found that the reasons for the migration varies with the conditions in the three nations which are the source of the influx. In El Salvador and Honduras the main factor is gang violence. In Guatemala the grinding rural poverty is the key reason for the migration.
The top three municipalities sending children are all in Honduras. San Pedro Sula, which tops the list, has the highest murder rate in the entire world.
It isn't possible to come up with a solution to a problem without having a detailed understanding of the exact nature of the problem. The issue of unaccompanied children is not an extension of the immigration policy debate here. It's a refugee crisis, and the more the American public knows about the details, the more likely we are to arrive at a solution which is both humane, and which maintains stability on the border.
The Pew article is an excellent introduction to the issue.