There are high levels of crime, poverty and violence in some Central American countries. There also are rumors that if women and children make it across the Mexican border to the U.S., they will be allowed to stay in this country.
There is an old rule: “Follow the Money.” There are smugglers who profit by telling people they can come and stay here. They charge as much $7,500 to bring immigrants across the border.
All of this is creating a flood of traffic. Women and children are ferried across the Rio Grande River in rafts. The children willingly go into the arms of Border Enforcement agents.
Most of the children tell this story. They are fleeing the crime and poverty in their country. They have relatives and family in the U.S. Those relatives live in Indiana or Texas, but they do not know the address of the relative.
The women and children cross the river into snake-infested brush. It is a federal wildlife refuge. The river is narrow and easy to cross. More than 52,000 minors crossed the southwest border without papers since last October.
The government says it will see more than 240,000 undocumented migrants during this fiscal year. Most will come from Central America.
Children traveling alone must be sent to social service centers within three days of arriving in the U.S. Most of the women with families are given notices to appear in immigration court. Many mistakenly think this is a sign they can stay in the U.S.
The Obama administration is doing all it can to discourage others from coming. An official sent an open letter saying, “In the hands of smugglers, many children are abused by their journey. Even worse many are beaten, starved, sexually assaulted or sold in the sex trade. There are no ‘permits’ at the end.”
The tales of border crossing are painful. The outcome for crossers is uncertain. As some people are returned to their home countries the traffic will slow down. But the chances of immigration reform will be further away.
Source: The New York Times June 25, 2014