Friday, November 30, 2018

For Central Americans, Children Open a Path to the U.S. — and Bring a Discount

Daniele Volpe for The Washington Post
To mark attendance in Diana Melisa Contreras’s kindergarten classroom, students place tongue depressors into little white cups painted with their names.
There were 29 cups at the start of the school year. Then Contreras’s students and their parents began leaving their small village in the coffee-growing hills of southern Guatemala, joining the torrent of migration to the United States. With more families preparing to depart in the coming weeks, Contreras has been told her class will only have five students next term, and she will be transferred to teach at a different school.
“They’re all going to the United States,” she said. “I’m being left without kids.”
More than ever before, if you look at the current surge of Central American migrants to the United States, you will see the face of a child. The past five years have rewritten the story of who crosses America’s southern border: It is no longer just the young man traveling alone looking for work. Now that man, or woman, will often be holding the hand of a young boy or girl.
Last month, 23,121 members of “family units” were arrested along the U.S. southern border, the highest number on record and a 150 percent increase since July. With the number of single adults attempting to sneak into the United States declining, families and underage minors now account for more than half of those taken into custody by U.S. border agents.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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