The American Dream Isn’t Dead Just Yet

Leslie Nunez, Staff Writer

The year 2018 is coming to an end, and with less than a month left it still catches us by surprise. As violence continues to swarm in Central America, more and more citizens are packing bags and immigrating north. In October, one particular group which came to be called “the migrant caravan,” began a journey that would lead them right to the U.S. border. This group, according to the BBC News, “they are leaving their respective countries in the hope of building a better future for themselves and their families.” Ultimately, this group aspires to come to the US because they believe in the American Dream. Despite the actions, President Donald Trump has taken to keep them out and all of his warnings, they are still trying to make their way here.

On their way to the U.S. members of the caravan knew what was waiting for them. They knew they had three options: get sent back home, enter the US under asylum, or illegally cross the border and face possible consequences. In November, President Donald Trump tweeted that the caravan was full of bad people who had only bad intentions, “Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border. Please go back, you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!” wrote Trump. Despite this personally written warning from the President of the United States, the caravan marched ahead.

In light of all of the turmoil surrounding the caravan during their journey and their subsequent encampment just over the Mexico border, people wonder why these travelers chose to risk their lives and the lives of their children. It’s because of the fear they go through daily. Immigrants run from government corruption, which had led to riots made by angry citizens and gang members.

Jeff Ernst of The New York Times wrote in January 2018 regarding Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, that was sworn in for his 2nd term as president; citizens were angry, they believed the election was rigged. Ernst wrote, “The ballot count was suspended several times, and Mr. Nasralla, who had been substantially ahead, was eventually declared to have lost by about 50,000 votes.” Despite this information and protests throughout the capital of Tegucigalpa, Orlando was sworn in for her second term.

According to Amanda Erickson of The Washington Post, Latin America is the world’s most violent region. The homicide rate continues to rise in Central America, with Honduras as the deadliest. Erickson stated, “Of the 20 countries in the world with the highest murder rates, 17 are Latin American, as are 43 of the top 50 cities.” This is why the migrant caravan grew as it departed Honduras. Parents, looking for a safer place to raise their children joined the caravan just as others have for years. People from Central America have brought and sent their children to the United States to get them away from all of the violence and corruption that happens on a daily basis.

Violence is not the only reason why they have decided to migrate, it’s also due to poverty. Mayra Hernandez, 36, who has emigrated from Tegucigalpa, Honduras spoke to Juan Montes of The Wall Street Journal. Montes writes, “Ms. Hernandez used to rise at 4 a.m. daily to make and sell tortillas in the country’s capital, but keeping up with extortion payments to the gangs had become too difficult. She could no longer afford her daughter’s textbook and school-uniform fees. ‘I can’t raise my daughter in a place like that.’”

Education also serves as an important reason why people are immigrating. Belindre Granados, 15, also from Tegucigalpa, Honduras spoke with Montes as well. He asked her about her future and she stated that “She wants to be a flight attendant. Or a physician. She wants to study in the U.S. because she says the education is bad in Honduras.” Parents and children who come here are hoping to start fresh, get a better education, find jobs that will help them survive, and to help those who are still in their home countries who are living in poverty.

According to Adrian Edwards of the UN Refugee Agency, the caravan began with 7,000 people. It thinned out as they made their way to the border, according to Julie Watson of The Washington Post. “The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and said Friday he was asking the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants.”
Unfortunately, only a small percentage might get lucky and be granted asylum. Immigrants have made a long journey in search for better opportunities, to make their American dream come true. Children are in need of better education systems as much as adults/parents are in need of money to survive. Immigrants shouldn’t be described as terrorists and criminals, they run from that.