El Salvador's Ambassador Suggests Migrant Surge Sign of 'Upward Mobility'
El Salvador's ambassador to the United States suggested that the surge of illegal immigrants from his country may be due to the economic mobility of his citizens, many of whom are already illegally living and working in the United States.
Rubén Zamora, El Salvador's ambassador, recently said that "the father or mother has special status in the U.S., but they left their child in El Salvador. Now they have the capacity to have the kids live with them in their own home. What father wouldn't ask for his own child?"
"The upward mobility of our community has created the conditions for that phenomenon," he recently said in an account in a Costa Rican newspaper, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Smugglers are often paid thousands of dollars to bring children and relatives to the U.S.-Mexico border, where the migrants who are not from Mexico and Canada are given "notices to appear" and released to "sponsors" or family members across the United States. The Obama administration has released 30,340 illegal immigrant juveniles this year.
Illegal immigrants from Central America also send billions of dollars in remittances back to their nations, as Breitbart Texas reported. Mexico's secretary of Foreign Affairs, José Antonio Meade, also told the Chronicle that illegal immigrant children caught in Mexico do not "want to stay in Mexico" and noted that some migrants "are trying to take advantage of what they perceive incorrectly as a possibility to stay in the U.S., to find better opportunities."
As the Chronicle noted, "A U.N. survey of migrant children from Honduras found that 44 percent said they were fleeing crime, while 82 percent sought family or opportunity."
The presidents of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala are in the United States, having met with President Obama on Friday, and Obama is reportedly considering allowing people from Honduras to apply for asylum to live in the United States. That program could be extended to people from Guatemala and El Salvador, as well.
Though many migrants are fleeing gang violence in Central America, the murder rates in Central American nations have declined since 2012, which is the year Obama unilaterally enacted his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for certain DREAMers. The number of illegal immigrants from Central America who have been apprehended at the border drastically spiked in the year after Obama enacted DACA in 2012.