Why Are Parents Bringing Their Children on Treacherous Treks to the U.S. Border?

She mentioned these migrant households select the United States as a result of they typically have networks in the nation already and know that there are a lot of job alternatives. “There are push and pull factors. The push factors are the lack of economic opportunities and the security problems in their countries. It’s a mix of these conditions. The pull factors are of course the jobs and the families.”

Even with steep drops in the variety of recorded murders in the previous yr, El Salvador and Honduras, the residence international locations of many migrants, are nonetheless amongst the most harmful international locations in the world. Poverty is hammering away at livelihoods in a lot of Central America, and for some, the choice to go away is a bet on a greater life.

For others, it’s a matter of saving the one they’ve.

On Thursday, federal officers dropped Mr. Cruz and his 16-year-old son, additionally named Luis, at Casa Alitas. Both wore black, regardless of the southwestern warmth, and inside, they sat at a desk coated with a fabric of vivid sunflowers.

They eagerly consumed huge bowls of soup earlier than explaining why they’d come.

The elder Mr. Cruz, a lemon and orange grove employee, had hoped to reside his life in his residence state of Suchitepéquez. Then in late May, his son was approached twice by a gang who demanded he be a part of them, flashing a gun and urging him to commit his first extortion. “They kill you if you don’t obey,” mentioned Mr. Cruz.

On June three, the pair left for the United States, after which offered themselves at the border to ask for asylum. After lunch at the shelter, the youthful Mr. Cruz pulled a bit of paper from his pocket, unfolding it to reveal a letter his faculty director had written earlier than he left — a be aware they hoped can be the proof they wanted to win asylum in the United States.

“The student had to withdraw himself from school due to violence and gang persecution,” she wrote. “He decided to move to save his life.”

Julie Turkewitz reported from Tucson and Jose A. Del Real reported from Nogales, Mexico. Miriam Jordan contributed reporting from Los Angeles and Frances Robles from Miami.

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