Thousands of women and children are leaving Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. They are fleeing the violence, crime and poverty in their countries. They hope to reach the United States. Many are crossing the Rio Grande River into Texas.
The U.S. is doing all it can to reduce the flow. It is sending more border agents and judges to the border. There is not too much they can do.
Many of the migrant women and children will be sent to relatives in the U.S. Others will go to detention centers for families.
Why is this happening now? Rumor has spread that the U.S. treats women and children differently than the way it treats men. And it does. The law gives special protection to children. But that is only the beginning of the story.
The migrants get notices to appear in court usually the first step to deportation. However, the word back home is that the notices are “permisos” or permits. And the mistaken belief is that they will lead to permission to stay in the U.S.
U.S. officials say this is not true.
To keep track of them the U.S. is putting ankle bracelets on many migrants. The goal is to get them to appear in court for hearings.
Many migrants are asking for asylum. If they can prove their lives were in danger back home, they may be able to stay in the U.S. More U.S. officials are being sent to hear the cases.
The new migrants are not coming because they think there will be a change in U.S. law. Nor are they coming because they hear that younger people are able to study and work here.
No matter what the government says, they believe that once here they will be able to stay.
Source: The New York Times June 20, 2014