There are currently an estimated
68.5 million displaced people
in the world,
22 million of which are registered
Of this number, the United States is directly responsible
for many, particularly the Central American populations
currently arriving at our southern border.
Major migrations and mass evacuations to the United States often come from countries
that we once occupied. Latinx presence in the U.S. is a direct result of our government's
actions in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America over many decades. This is not
taught in schools, many documents and actions were hid from the American public, later to be declassified.
The current “Border Crisis” being discussed on the news and by the
government is not an increase of illegal migration, it is the same refugee
population that has been arriving for decades, seeking asylum from the
Northern Triangle in Central America: Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.
These are the actions of the United States government that have led to the
destabilization of economies
corruption of governments
which has resulted in the
highest levels of violence
in any part of the world.
After WWII, Guatemala experienced a brief democratic rule. Jacobo Arbenz
was elected by the people, and was President from 1951-1954.
His platform relied heavily on land reforms to boost the economy, he
wanted to distribute land back to the citizens and away from U.S owned
corporations (namely the United Fruit Company, which held the majority of
the land at the time.) Robert White, former U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador
describes this time as the “beginning of a terrible attitude of the U.S.
towards Latin America, where change was our enemy.”
Eisenhower’s Secretary of State and his brother were both law partners
at the firm who represented the UFC. Melvin Goodman, former CIA Division
Chief, later admitted that overthrowing progressive governments gave the
United States unencumbered access to land and natural resources.
So they did.
The CIA pushed propaganda that turned the tide of public opinion against
Arbenz, painting him as a crazy radical. In 1954 they had him overthrown
through the systematic organizing and financing of a rebellion. As the
violent rebel faction (supported and trained by the U.S.) took hold of
the government, remaining progressives were viciously repressed.
As a civil war developed, the progressives found support in the native
Mayan community, who already faced the oppression common to indigenous
populations.The now militant government responded with a genocide against the Mayans.
Of the 200,000 people killed and 50,000 who went missing during this time,
83% were Mayan.
Declassified documents have proven that the
CIA secretly trained Guatemalan
In the 1980s, during the 36 year genocidal civil war that the
U.S. was responsible for creating,
less than 2%
of Guatemalans were granted political asylum by the government.
In El Salvador, a similar situation had been manufactured. Militant governments
were in power, placed and trained by the CIA at the School of the Americas.
Any citizen or group against U.S. foreign policy (anyone who supported the land
reform Arbenz pushed for) was targeted, labeled ‘subversive’, and tortured and
killed by the military.
Several acts of violence can be pointed to, the assassination of Bishop Romero, the
murders at the Spanish Embassy, and the murders of the four American missionary women.
George W. Bush denied all accusations of our involvement in El Salvador. However the
majority of those participating in the mass killings, the assassination of the Bishop,
and the rape and murder of the four Americans were trained at the School of the Americas, on U.S. soil.
In the 1980s 4 Billion in U.S. aid provided to El Salvador, 70% of this went
directly to the military and was spent on weapons. During this wartime period that the U.S. sustained and directly supported,
less than 3%
of Salvadorian applicants were granted political asylum in the U.S.
The School of the Americas was a tool used by the U.S. government to form
close ties with future military leaders in Central America. United States
companies profited and continue to profit directly from the instability,
violence, and corruption curated in these countries.
Similar tactics were deployed in Honduras, the coffee trade became
deregulated and land was distributed to U.S. companies instead of local
farmers. Corruption in the government has led to the same levels of poverty,
violence, food insecurity, and the strong gang presence that we see in it’s
Corruption and war have led Honduras and El Salvador to have some of the highest murder rates
in the world. Central American children are
10 times more likely
to be murdered than American children.
The decision to leave ones home and face a dangerous
journey north is not made lightly, especially by a child or parent.
Most of the time, it is the only option.
Threats on the road include:
rape, robbery, and murder,
often while using dangerous modes of transport.
Children and families flee with little to no food or money,
money is likely to spent on bus tickets or a Coyotes
assistance in crossing the border.
Other options are to walk, or ride atop the trains, referred to as
“El Tren De La Muerte”, The Train of Death. Many migrants and refugees
die on these tracks.
Many more die of dehydration or hypothermia in the desert
while attempting to crossinto the U.S.
Volunteers that leave water and
supplies in these areas are currently being prosecuted.
The existing border wall was responsible for
the deaths of 10,000
people as of 2011.
Numbers of those arriving at the southern border have been down during
the Trump Administration, however within that number the demographic is
shifting from young men (a sign of economic migration) to
children (the sign of a refugee population.)
Asylum is a complicated process, especially for unaccompanied children to comprehend.
Even within the small number of applications currently allowed, people are
being denied outright their right to apply, and many who are able to enter
the process are still facing separation from their children. With compliance
so uncertain and risky, many attempt illegal crossings to save their lives
and that of their children. Border cities are especially dangerous to stay
too long in, trafficking is running rampant and shelters are overrun.
Mexico and Costa Rica have also been dealing with record numbers of refugees,
in 2017 Mexico deported
89,000 Central Americans, including
The President sets the quotas (in consultation with Congress and
other government agencies) for the total number of refugees admitted
each year into the U.S.
The average of all administrations is 96,000.
The Obama administration responded to crisis
in the Middle East and in Central America by increasing the number
of asylum cases to allow, the Trump Administration has lowered this
number three times already in response to refugee crisis in the Middle East
and Central America, as well as implementing harsher policies such as
the travel ban and the zero tolerance policy at the border to discourage
immigration, travel, and asylum seeking from these countries.
UAC Apprehended in 2018
Thousands of children show up alone or with siblings at the U.S.
border every year. Some are sent back to the their home countries,
some detained, and many end up in agencies and hope for reunification
with a family member. Refugee children with no family in the U.S. more
often than not end up in the foster care system.
In October alone, 4,991
children were apprehended at the border. It was the third highest monthly
total in FY2018.
Total UAC Apprehended in 2018:
The “Zero Tolerance” policy
was unique to the Trump Administration, and though it is no longer
official policy, it has continued to cause unprecedented distress and harm to an already
Separating a child from a family in most communities requires a
child welfare specialist and involvement of the judicial system,
often with a judge scrutinizing the case for months or even years.
At the border, the decision is made solely by U.S. Customs and
Border Protection agents in the field. No child welfare specialist
is required, and no judge is involved in a decision that cannot be appealed.
Immigration attorneys and family law experts say that the process used to
separate children, most commonly carried out by Customs and Border
has been shrouded in mystery, provides no due
process for the parents, and is vulnerable to both abuse and mistakes.