Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, September 16, 2014
The summer lull in illegal border crossings from Mexico is about to give way to a rush of even more immigrants in a frenzy of fear that Washington is about to shut the door, according to several Hispanic leaders.
In Honduras, for example, U.S. threats coupled with those from local leaders warning about the dangers of crossing the border have instead reenergized children and adults to run fast to America and pay inflated fees to “coyotes” to get them there.
“As I am speaking, hundreds of children are trying to leave Honduras,” said Jose Guadalupe Ruelas, a Honduran leader who advocates for children. “When people in Honduras hear that the U.S. is going to get stricter with immigration rules and laws then people think to themselves, ‘Now is the time for me to go,’” he said through an interpreter.
He and several of the others blamed domestic crime and U.S. policies, notably a lack of social spending in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, for the wave of some 90,000 illegals, mostly youths, into America this year.
Oscar A. Chacon, executive director of the Nation Alliance of Latin American & Caribbean Communities, scoffed at U.S. claims that border officials have choked off the flow of illegals since it peaked in July.
He said that summer months are too hot for people to make the trip and he said it will begin again in fall unless the U.S. shifts its policies in Latin America.
“If the root causes that are driving people to make that sad choice of having to immigrate despite all the risk, despite all the fear, are not addressed,” he warned, “we may well be seeing chapter one of a book of many chapters.”