Central America to ask for U.S. aid to stem immigration
Honduran migrants deported from the United States walk on the tarmac at Toncontin Airport in Tegucigalpa on December 23, 2011 (AFP Photo/Orlando Sierra)

The leaders of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala plan to ask US President Barack Obama for help funding projects to stem immigration during White House talks next week.

The presidents will meet Friday over the humanitarian crisis triggered by some 57,000 unaccompanied minors from Central America who have traveled illegally to the United States since October.

"We want to discuss with Obama structural measures, by which we mean investing in the immigrants' communities of origin to generate opportunities and create more security for our people," Salvadoran Foreign Minister Hugo Martinez told state television Channel 10.

The Central American leaders plan to request employment and security aid when they meet with Obama.

The tide of unaccompanied youths has overwhelmed US border patrol, shelters and immigration courts, and prompted Obama to warn parents in Central America not to send their kids to the United States in search of a better life.

Guatemala's Otto Perez, Juan Orlando Hernandez of Honduras and Salvador Sanchez Ceren of El Salvador, together with their foreign ministers, will attend the discussions with Obama.

"We hope that afterwards there will be increased cooperation from the United States," Martinez said.