Some Facts for the Immigration Crisis Discussion
NBC Bay Area has a pretty good run down of the situation here: Kids Crossing the Border: What to Know About the Immigration Crisis.
A key fact that is useful in trying to determine whether the simplistic narrative that is all about Obama administration policies on immigration or not is the following:
Migrant children aren’t just traveling to the U.S. All of Central America is seeing an increase. Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Belize jointly documented a 712 percent increase in the number of people seeking asylum from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala,according to the Washington Office on Latin America.
This, of course, suggests that other factors are at work.
Honduras’ homicide rate was 90 killed per 100,000 people in 2012. That’s the worst in the world and six times the global average. Guatemala and El Salvador aren’t far behind.
Nearly two-thirds of the Honduran population lives below the poverty line,according to UNICEF. One in three infants is malnourished, and most kids in rural areas will only get four years of schooling on average. Guatemala’s poverty rate is 26 percent. In El Salvador 17 percent of the population is living on less than $2 a day, according to the World Bank.
This is a complex and long-term problem linked to any number of local issues as well as US policies (not the least of which is the War on Drugs, which has pushed a lot of this violence in Central America in the last decade). Anyone who touts a simplistic narrative (or a simplistic solution) is either engaging in petty partisanship or doesn’t know what they are talking about (or, more likely than not, both).