Tens of thousands of young Central Americans have fled their homes and families for the United States, trying to escape the violence taking place in their countries. But many of those who have risked their lives on the dangerous trek to seek safety are instead becoming stranded in Mexico.
Correspondent Mike Kirsch reports from Tijuana on how an overloaded immigration court system in the U.S. has caused a crackdown in migration across the U.S. border. The result is that many Central Americans find themselves stuck on the Mexican side of the border, where they apply, wait and hope for asylum in the United States.
Mike talks to some young people from Guatemala, Maria and Jose, who tell him their harrowing stories of survival.
The majority of those migrating are from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. The journey they need to make is long, painful and perilous, often involving dangerous train and bus travel.
A great number of those migrating are young adults and children, unaccompanied by an adult. They are vulnerable to human traffickers who can often sell them into forced labor or the sex trade. Mike interviews the director of the YMCA, Uriel Gonzales, who explains “Smugglers don’t care about humanity. Their business is to make money. How? They don’t care.”
Check out Mike Kirsch’s package for Americas Now, and learn why the Central American immigration crisis is far from resolved.