La Caravana- Seeking Asylum At The Border

Annett Tamayo, Staff Writer

April 29th was the day that a group of 300 migrants took a journey for their lives to the United States Border.  The group is  being referred to as “Caravans.” They came to the United States border fleeing their violent countries in hope of American asylum.

Who are the “Caravans?”

“La Caravana” is what a group of 300 central Americans are being called. A caravan is a group of people who are going in the same direction in order to get help from the situation that they are in. Many of the individuals who participated come from Honduras and El Salvador. They walked from their home countries all the way to the point of entry in “San Ysidro” across the U.S Mexican border from Tijuana. A non-profit “Pueblos Sin Fronteras” has organized this walk to demand change, help, and awareness.  

Why do they seek asylum?

Central Americans seek asylum every day, here at the border. They present themselves to border agents because they would be victims of persecution based on their race, nationality, religion, political views or membership in a targeted social group if returned to their home country.

Living in countries like El Salvador really shines a light on why people want to flee their home country. Many people ask: why do they come over here illegally? or Why can’t they just follow the process? Frankly, people who ask these questions are not aware of the harsh conditions these countries are facing. El Salvador is a gang revolved country where even going outside or going on the bus could result in a death. In fact, El Salvador has one of the highest homicide rates for people under the age of 19!  Meanwhile here in the United States, 19-year-olds are sophomores or freshman in college while others in a different country are getting killed. Since 2009, young girls are being extremely targeted as well by gang violence. The homicide rate of girls has risen heavily. Therefore, leading families to flee. Honduras faces similar situations in regards to Gang Violence that targets teenagers. They also face poverty as well as a corrupt government system.

Stories of seeking asylum:

Hearing interviews and reading articles about how hard it must have been to walk such a distance because they are tired of the violent environment of their home countries breaks my heart but it also inspires me. “ Some migrants said that they had walked the last leg of the Journey filled with anxiety. Others scarfed down food before they filed into the center, afraid that there would be no food once they turned themselves into border officials.”

What is the point of this?

Families flee their home countries every day because of their safety. The dangerous conditions in their home countries will not allow them to live their life to its full capacity. Many of whom have children do not want to see their kids end up dead or gang affiliated at the age of 16 or even younger. Families do not want to see their children targeted and taken away from them. Families face poverty and they can’t provide for their children in the country that they live in. The United States is the best place for many refugees and migrants in general because the abundance of opportunities this country has.

I am inspired and I admire the courage and strength that these individuals have. The fact that they are tired of their homeland situation and the fact that they are doing something about it is amazing! The journey from their home countries to the United States border is not an easy one to take but the fact that families are doing this to give their children the opportunities that they never had and striving for change, hope and awareness is truly inspiring.