New measures slow child migrant flow into the U.S.
Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 02:17
After several weeks of new measures enacted to reduce the flow of Central American migrants to the U.S., insiders in Mexico and Guatemala say they are beginning to see results. Jillian Kitchener reports.
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A trend is shifting in Central America, where would-be migrants are being discouraged from making the move into the U.S.
Migrant shelters, like the one Carlos Solis runs, are absorbing the impact:
(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MANAGER OF MIGRANT SHELTER IN ARRIAGA, CHIAPAS, CARLOS SOLIS, SAYING:
"What we are seeing is a decrease in the flow (of migrants). This is because of the campaign being run by the United States and some countries in Central America where they have used slots on television and radio to discourage children from migrating to the United States."
…and for some like Javier Soto…it's just too difficult.
(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MIGRANT FROM HONDURAS, JAVIER SOTO, SAYING:
"Surveillance by (Mexican) immigration has risen and they have stopped letting us board the train ("The Beast") which is another (reason). Nobody can board the train which is presumably due to a (Mexican) government law."
Extra policing is also having an impact in Guatemala.
In this border town, Colonel Albin Dubois runs an anti-drug smuggling task-force. His team has seen a sharp fall in child migrant numbers.
(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MEMBER OF GUATEMALAN MILITARY BORDER CONTROL, COLONEL ALBIN DUBOIS, SAYING:
"It is part of the mission that the task force has to carry out. Not allowing migrants to cross (the border) is part of the prevention methods. This obviously includes children that are traveling accompanied or unaccompanied."
And outside the US Embassy in Mexico city, a vigil for child migrants. Elvis Garay is a migrant from Nicaragua.
(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MIGRANT FROM NICARAGUA, ELVIS GARAY, SAYING:
"They (authorities) are beginning the hunt for children, women and adults. I think that the most important, and why we are here, is for the children. They are nabbing the children as if they weren't human beings with aggression and without a second thought. They (authorities) catch them (the child migrants) and then at some point they beat them."
But while it may be taking a toll. The US government says the number of unaccompanied children caught along the southwest border almost halved in July. But still…thousands continue to try their luck.
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