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Migrants undeterred by Trump as they travel north for a better life

Friday, February 03, 2017 - 01:27

Poor Central American migrants arriving at a shelter near the U.S. border are undeterred by President Donald Trump's plan to build a border wall and his threat to deport millions of undocumented immigrants. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT - SUBTITLED (NO REPORTER NARRATION) For most poor Central Americans and Mexicans at travelers' shelters in the desert town of Nogales, Mexico, U.S. President Donald Trump's threats to build a wall along the whole border and deport millions of undocumented immigrants have not made them abandon their harrowing journeys and hopes of a better life in the north. At the San Juan Bosco shelter, which has given refuge to more than one million migrants since it was founded more than 30 years, travelers keep coming. "Lots of people who want to cross [the U.S. border] continue to arrive even knowing what is going on in the United States because the news about Mr. Trump is global," Gilda Loureiro, the shelter's manager, said. "They go through many things trying to cross into the United States. A lot of people die in the desert when trying to cross, if it's hot because of the heat or they get bitten by an animal or something like that. When it's cold well the cold kills them. A lot of people have come through here and everyone has a story," she added. Trump ordered construction of a U.S.-Mexican border wall last week and punishment for cities shielding illegal immigrants. He has also pledged to deport three million undocumented U.S. immigrants. Fourteen-year-old Jeber Hernandez, who made the often perilous journey alone to the U.S. border from El Salvador, a country that has one the highest murder rates in the world, said he is not afraid of Trump. "He doesn't scare me," said Hernandez. "I've lived through worse things in my country." But it was a different story for 28-year-old Mexican migrant Antonio Ruiz Cordova, who fell and injured his leg while trying to scale the border fence. "We wanted to go before all of this started with the new president, before it took effect. If it's difficult now ...I think it will be much more difficult later," he said. The U.S.-Mexico border is home to the largest per capita wage differential of any land border on the planet, with average U.S. wages about five times higher than Mexican wages. Farther south, in Central America, incomes are even lower, and crime worse, fueling a surge of migration in recent years. More Central American migrants were apprehended on the U.S. southern border than Mexicans last year. To get to the U.S. from Nogales, a city of 230,000 dotted with factories of multinational firms like Motorola and B/E Aerospace, migrants say people smugglers typically charge $4,000 per person for a one-way ticket across the border. As with long stretches of the 2,000-mile (3,200-km) border, a 25-foot-tall fence already exists along the international boundary here, built in 2011 and made up of thick rust-colored metal beams that follow the rocky terrain for miles to the west and east of the city. Beyond the fence on the U.S. side, a parallel set of wooden posts are topped with cameras and sensors. In the distance, U.S. immigration vehicles slowly patrol the border. Some 25 miles (40 km) to the east of town, the towering fence comes to an end and is replaced with a waist-high barrier that mainly serves to stop trucks plowing through the desert. While some migrants trudge around the barricade, risking weather exposure on foot through rugged terrain menaced by drug cartel thugs and poisonous snakes, others opt to ride hidden in trucks that drive through official crossings, a route made possible, several said, by bribes.

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Migrants undeterred by Trump as they travel north for a better life

Friday, February 03, 2017 - 01:27