EE Explains: What is happening at the southern border?

Alondra Mondragon-Rodriguez, Life & Style Co-Editor

The current surge of immigrants showing up at the U.S. southern border is a desperate situation for thousands of people.

Almost 100,000 immigrants have arrived at the U.S border in February and thousands more have arrived every month since then. The number of unaccompanied minors immigrating to the United States has increased to 14,000 from 10,000 in February according to NEWS@TheU.

In addition, the coyotes, human smugglers, have been scamming immigrants by saying that President Biden’s administration will welcome them when entering the United States. With this false promise from the coyotes, a lot of immigrants have gone into life debt. You would be surprised how many people would go into debt and risk their lives so they can be safe in a new country.

Asylum seekers are people who seek refuge/protection in a country that isn’t their country of residence. Most asylum seekers are women escaping gender-based violence, LGBTQ+ people fleeing persecution, also families and children seeking protection from gang violence. The age of people who seek refugee status ranges from babies under 1 year old to elderlies over 75 years of age.

A chart published by the Statista Research Department at the beginning of the year shows that the age range with the most people who are arriving in the United States as refugees are kids from ages 5 to 9. Over 4,000 of those kids arrive in the United States as refugees which excludes the number of kids who seek refuge and get denied, and the kids who cross to the United States illegally. The majority of them are coming from Mexico and northern Central American countries. But there are also people who are fleeing violence and persecution in countries like Venezuela, Cuba, and Haiti.

The reason that immigrants are coming to the United States now varies from natural disasters, lack of economic opportunity, gang violence, government corruption, and false promises. As I stated earlier one of the reasons that immigrants are crossing now is that the coyotes are feeding immigrants lies.

The most common reason for immigrants crossing is the economy. Immigrants are hoping to come to the United States, get a job, and send money back to their families but know more than ever this is the plan to action. COVID-19 pandemic had an economic impact and has worsened conditions in Central America, in 2020 alone an estimate of 45.4 million people were forced into poverty.

Even before that for years they have suffered from extreme poverty as well as having the world’s highest murder rates outside of a warzone. With government corruption also comes violence, most people aren’t safe in their own homes.

One of the problems that President Biden is addressing is the number of unaccompanied minors that are filling up detention facilities. Biden is directing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help manage the migrant minors. The United States will also help Guatemala build shelters for returning migrants that are transitioning back to their old lives.

Last month, Vice President Kamala Harris promised to increase aid to countries in the region and to better cooperate in the management of migration in an effective humane manner. She also plans on working with United Nations allies.

Last month Politico announced that the United States agreed to work with a Guatemalan task force that will be trained to protect the country’s border. The intention is to put a “brake on uncontrolled migration.”