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What is the cause of families to flee Central America?
Thousands of families in Guatemala and other countries in Central America; Genevieve wood of the Heritage Foundation shares insight.
Two senators agreed on different sides of the political divide on Sunday that the issue along the border is a “refugee crisis” and not an “immigration crisis”, but split on why thousands of families fleeing from Central America to the United States.
Sens., James Lankford, R-Okla., and Angus King, I-Maine, agreed that the people to cross the southern U.S. border illegally on the road, here for a better life, but the former believes, it is for economic reasons, while the latter says that because of the violence in Central America.
“They are fleeing violence,” king said on NBC’s “Meet The Press.” “This is different from the waves of illegal immigrants, the next 15 to 20 years, especially from Mexico, simply looking for jobs.”
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Lankford countered this claim with the argument that migrants come to the US and not other, less violent countries in Latin America.
“The vast majority of these people come to Lankford for economic reasons,” he said. “They come from Central America, that is why you are going to be in Belize and Ecuador, have large asylum laws. You are in the US, because they want to have the economic opportunities, not only asylum.”
The number of families entering the United States illegally at the southwest border jumped six-fold in may at 9,485, compared with the same month in the year 2017. Since October, more than 58,000, the majority arrived from Guatemala, followed by Honduras and El Salvador.
Feelings of despair have driven felt-in the whole of Central America, where the lawlessness, endemic poverty and levels of gang violence as in war, that so many families from their homes, show little sign of abating.
In March 15, 2017 file photo, police investigators carry a body, a forensic vehicle after a shootout between private security guards and gang members at the Central market in San Salvador, El Salvador, Wednesday, 15. In March 2017. The rate of violent death in El Salvador is still suffering higher than in all countries in armed conflict, except for Syria.
((AP Photo/Salvador Melendez))
The rate of violent death in El Salvador is still suffering higher than in all countries in armed conflict, except for Syria, with a murder rate of 99.7 per 100,000 population in the year 2016, according to the latest global study by Swiss-based Small Arms Survey. The number of displaced people in the nation of 6.5 million of turf battles between the country’s two largest gangs, MS-13 and Barrio 18, has soared in the past year to 296,000, according to the Norwegian refugee Council.
In neighboring Honduras, in Latin America, most Nations are among the poorest and violent, adding to the feeling of insecurity in the country the role is as a major transit point for South American cocaine, as well as the political turmoil and unrest, the hard line followed by President Juan Orlando Hernandez re-election last November amid allegations he had the voice.
In Guatemala the third part of the so-called Northern triangle countries of Central and South America – criminal activity is also spread, adding to the discrimination and abuse of long-faced by the indigenous communities, which are among the largest groups escape from poverty.
“It’s not about immigrants chasing the American dream anymore,” said Sofia Martinez, Guatemala-based analyst for the International Crisis Group and author of a recent report on gang violence in Central America, “the Mafia of the poor.”
“It’s about the death sentence,” she said.
The Associated Press contributed reporting to this piece.