Rampant violence in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras is being blamed for a huge increase in the number of unaccompanied children being held in American detention centers after sneaking into the country. From the LAT:

The number of unaccompanied migrant children in U.S. detention centers grew nearly 50%, from 6,854 in fiscal 2011 to more than 10,000 in the nine-month period ended June 30, according to federal statistics cited in the report, titled "Forced From Home: The Lost Boys and Girls of Central America." ...

In interviews conducted with 151 children in federal holding facilities, nearly 80% told researchers that violence was the main reason they set out for the U.S. by themselves

The article also notes that these kids "have no right to a court-appointed attorney," immediately before noting that a good attorney is their only hope for getting asylum. So that's depressing.

The full report on this, from the Women's Refugee Commission, can be found here. You may add this issue to the list of issues that will not be addressed during tonight's presidential debates.

[Photo: AP]