Being smuggled into the US is the most surefire method for those who can pay the price. Edgar Mejia from Honduras only had enough pesos to take one of his three sons to the US with him. Since he considered his 3-year old to be the “warrior” of the trio, he left his 7 and his 12-year-old behind, along with his wife. He hopes to earn enough money to have them smuggled in later.
While at the bus station in Brownsville, Texas awaiting transportation to join relatives in Atlanta, Mejia said of his 3-year-old son, “Pitifully, I had use him like a passport to get here. I am here because of him.”
Mejia paid his smuggler $6,000 to get him and his son safely across the border. Those with no money are left to do things the hard way, and in March alone, Border Patrol agents had face-to-face encounters with at least 170,000 migrants at America’s southern border. This represents a 20-year high, and it includes 19,000 unaccompanied children, the highest number ever recorded.
Prior to the migration surge of recent years, the bulk of illegal border crossing were by Mexican men who would enter the US, make a few bucks. and then return home. There were times when the number of crossing fluctuated, but for the most part it remained fairly steady.
These days, the majority are making the northward journey from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador where life can get a little rough at times. And though single adult travelers remain the bulk of migrants, roughly four out of ten border encounters involve families or children left to fend for themselves in a new world.
Since new immigration policies dictate that it’s much better for illegal migrants to remain in the US while seeking asylum, and Mexico is of course in full agreeance, thousands upon thousands have left their homes in Central America for a piece of good old American apple pie.
In 2019 when the Trump administration put an end to seperating families, a huge jump in migration was experienced, but this was nothing compared to what we are seeing now. Two factors have contributed to the new surge. First and foremost is Joe Biden’s relaxation of Trump’s hardline approach of dealing with illegals.
The second comes as a result of smugglers lying to people about what that relaxation actually entails. Sure it’s easier to get in now, but not nearly to the point of what they’re telling people. You can still, and probably will be, caught and arrested. The only difference now is that you probably won’t be deported if you lie about why you had to leave your home country.
Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, said, “I think that it’s simply that the traffickers use whatever is happening in the United States to extort the families, to lure them, to create a narrative that says, ‘Come right now. The president is going to let you in.’”
Dozens of recently interviewed migrants all said that it was Biden’s relaxed policies, or the perception of, that finally prompted them to make the trip. Knowing they were at least not going to be sent back, they could endure whatever else awaiting them.
Even using smugglers, the journey can still take weeks. Migrants go through a series of truck, trains, and buses, only to at least be shoved into a rubber raft and pushed across to to the other side of the Rio Grande, something they could have done themselves. When the journey ends, the same result occurs. They turn themselves in to Bordr Patrol agents. Only now, they get to stay at taxpayers expense. Thanks Joe.