Border Death Sentence

Tensions on the U.S – Mexico border have led to 6000 Deaths and counting of Migrants since 2000, designating it as the principle Humanitarian crisis. 

MEXICO –  Vulnerable and desperate migrants including women and young children have fled their home in search for refuge in the U.S, from brutal Governments and gangs in some of the deadliest countries in Central America – only to be sent back.


The difference between two countries with only a few metres that separate them. Source:CBP. gov

Mexican authorities have increased security, patrols and mass deportations along the U.S and Mexican border since 2014, to control the influx of illegal immigration. Consequently, this has provoked migrants to return to their origin by taking risky and remote routes where they are victims encountered with kidnappings, rape, robbery and death.

According to the Guardian, last year 165,000 migrants were deported from Mexico, whilst 75,000 were sent away from the U.S. The American Border Control estimated that nearly 445 people died trying to cross the border – yet these estimates are still considered too low.

Children and women make up the largest population of those that attempt to cross the border, not only from violence but also from poverty and corruption. Returned upon their arrival, many are killed within weeks and even days of being deported to countries with the world’s highest crime and murder rates; essentially in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

Corrupt Governments and gang violence has increasingly become so dangerous in CentralAmerica that families and even unaccompanied children are scavenging and slowly deteriorating in what Amnesty International calls a ‘War Zone’.

“They kill people all the time”

Exclaims Glenda Flores, mother of two from Honduras. Source: Dallas News

Honduran mother of two Glenda Flores fights for humanitarian relief by asking for sanctuary for her and her family. “Honduras is simply too violent”, she said. “They kill people all the time” said Glenda.  Authorities claim that though violence is a major factory for many women like Glenda Flores, poverty and the need to reunite with family members already in the U.S are duly some of the primary leading factors.

“Undocumented migrants make perfect victims. Fearful of authorities, they are highly unlikely to report even violent crimes, such as robbery or rape.”  Mary Speck, Former Senior Analyst in Mexico told Los Angeles Times.

The U.S government and the Obama fund foundation have pledged $750 million to expand further development in Central America this year, especially for children.  “Ultimately, the solution is long-term investment in Central America to address the underlying push factors in the region,” announced Jed Johnson from the DHS.

Increasing numbers of refugees escaping from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador have surpassed more than 108,000 since last year  more than five times larger than in the last three years, as conveyed by UNHCR figures.

With the recent devastation of Hurricane Matthew and the yet expected flood of 40,000 Haitian refugees it is unclear as to what Border Control of  either side of the border will do. Authorities in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador have increased the number of refuge centres accepting deported Migrants for a limited amount of days, providing snacks, free phone calls and water and to some extent a free bus fare home.

Amnesty International stated in their research that although there is an improvement in the state’s effort to protect their civilians, it disappears as soon as the migrants walk out the receptions centre’s doors.

Immigration Policies have always been at the cutting edge in the U.S especially with the 2016 Presidential campaign where Republican nominee Donald Trump is making border and immigration concerns a fundamental subject in his campaign. He has threatened to deport an estimated  11.3 million illegal immigrants in the U.S, however this has been heavily criticised by the Democratic party.

By Veronika Kennedy, Sarra El Oufir, Valentina Foroni and Stefano Antonio D’addosio.

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