Hondurans on the move to beat the Trump wall

Hondurans and Salvadorans are coming to the United States because of violence, economic desperation, the loss of hope in their own countries, and reasons related to family reunification. While I am sure some are coming to the US now to get in before Trump “builds a wall,” I am pretty sure that they would have been coming no matter who on the presidential election. If Clinton had won, there would have been a belief that her administration would be more hospitable to would-be migrants;  better to come now.

But whether or not Trump builds a wall, forget the fact that we have several hundred miles of walls already, one shouldn’t lose sight of the fact of how difficult and dangerous crossing is today.

Estimates put the number of people leaving Honduras for the United States every year at between 80,000 and 100,000. Hundreds die on the way, many of them parched in the Mexican desert or murdered by criminal gangs. They emigrate for lack of work, to study, escape the gangs or be reunited with relatives, humanitarian groups say.

Of the 8.7 million people in Honduras, close to seven out of 10 live in poverty.

I am at the Kino Border Initiative in Nogales right now. This is my third time here. And every time I am here, I listen to stories of undocumented migrants who lived in the US for several years. For whatever reason, usually a sick or dying family member, he (always been he for me) returned to Mexico for a few months. But when they tried to return to their homes in the US, they were harassed, kidnapped, robbed, extorted, and/or left for dead in the desert before turning themselves into or being captured by Border Patrol.

On the US side, the border is a much more secure place than it used to be. On the Mexican side, the border is much more controlled by organized crime groups. It’s an inhospitable terrain to cross and too many people die trying. Trump’s plans, if history is any guide, will make border crossings even more difficult and deadly, empower organized crime, and increase corruption on both sides of the border. While people do sneak into the US each day, don’t let anyone tell you it’s easy to cross the US border.