Flow of Migrants From Latin America May Be Slowing

Image: Flow of Migrants From Latin America May Be Slowing Central American immigrants get on the so-called La Bestia (The Beast) cargo train in Arriaga, Chiapas state, Mexico on July 16.

Monday, 21 Jul 2014 06:57 AM

By Elliot Jager

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It is getting harder for unaccompanied children to travel within Honduras toward the United States border, and there are signs that the flow of illegal minors from Central America may be subsiding, The New York Times reported.

Among the hints that there is a let-up in the flow: the U.S. Border Patrol says it is seeing fewer children trying to cross into Texas, bus companies across the border report seeing fewer minors traveling alone, and Honduras — where most of the children are coming from — has made it illegal to sell them bus tickets for the border, according to the Times.

"It has gone down about 30 percent, the number of children we see passing through here," Marvin Lopez, a supervisor at one of the big Honduran bus lines, told the Times. "Not nearly as many families."

The Border Patrol in the Rio Grande Valley has reported that the number of apprehensions has fallen to 80 from 200 a day last month.

Authorities in Latin America are cracking down on children who are traveling alone or with only one parent.

Another reason for the apparent slowdown is that word is making it back to Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Mexico that prospects of entering the United States are diminishing. Some deportees say they will not try again because of the cost and stress involved, the Times reported.

"I'm not sure if I could do it again; it was scary, and I didn't have the money to pay all the [Mexican] cops to let me go," said Orlin Flores. The 14-year-old was trying to reach his parents, who are already in California, according to the Times.

Advocates for the migrants say that as long as economic conditions in Latin America are bleak, some people will eventually again try to smuggle themselves into the United States.

It is too early to say that the numbers are definitely going down. In mid-June about 283 youngsters were coming across per day. Last week the average number had dropped to roughly 120 a day, the Times reported.

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