Prime Collective

Children Do Not Migrate, They Flee • Katie Orlinsky

When a massive influx of Central American children streamed across the U.S.-Mexican border last year, it sparked a political crisis, and a heated debate about the causes of this “surge.” U.S. politicians argued that the children were coming merely for economic reasons (that is, simply to take American jobs), rather than face the complicated reality that we have a refugee crisis on our very own doorstep. Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala have the highest homicide rates in the world. Central American children are the victims of life-threatening war, gang violence and poverty on a daily basis. The journey through Mexico to the “safety” of the United States is rife with dangers like kidnapping, rape and robbery, often times deadly, and controlled by criminals and gangs. Central American children and families have no other choice. As an official running a child migrant shelter in Guatemala said, “children do not migrate, they flee.” Currently, there is a massive U.S.-funded crackdown by Mexican authorities against Central American migrants, yet it has done little to stem the flow of migrants to the U.S., succeeding only in making the journey more lucrative for smugglers and more dangerous for migrants than ever before.

 

PROJECTS

Children Do Not Migrate, They Flee

By Katie Orlinsky

When a massive influx of Central American children streamed across the U.S.-Mexican border last year, it sparked a political crisis, and a heated debate about the causes of this “surge.” U.S. politicians argued that the children were coming merely for economic reasons (that is, simply to take American jobs), rather than face the complicated reality that we have a refugee crisis on our very own doorstep. Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala have the highest homicide rates in the world. Central American children are the victims of life-threatening war, gang violence and poverty on a daily basis. The journey through Mexico to the “safety” of the United States is rife with dangers like kidnapping, rape and robbery, often times deadly, and controlled by criminals and gangs. Central American children and families have no other choice. As an official running a child migrant shelter in Guatemala said, “children do not migrate, they flee.” Currently, there is a massive U.S.-funded crackdown by Mexican authorities against Central American migrants, yet it has done little to stem the flow of migrants to the U.S., succeeding only in making the journey more lucrative for smugglers and more dangerous for migrants than ever before.

 
 

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