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Government shutdown prompts talk of immigration

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Government shutdown prompts talk of immigration

Mikaela Ponce

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On December 22, 2018, President Trump ordered a partial government shutdown over border protection. It is into its third week, slowing down government services and leaving around 800,000 workers to go on without pay (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/02/us/whats-affected-government-shutdown.html).  

This shutdown occurred over a disagreement on funding for the wall, something that has become one of President Trump’s major concerns after hearing about the South American caravan that is headed for America.  

The caravan formed in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, and right now scientists predict there are around 7,200 people comprising it (https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/what-we-know-about-the-latest-migrant-caravan-traveling-through-mexico). These people are fleeing extreme poverty, high crime and gang violence, and political turmoil.  

In Guatemala, 53.9% of the population is living below the poverty line, with 23% of the population living in extreme poverty (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/gt.html). ½ of kids under the age of 5 are malnourished, one of the highest rates in the world (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/gt.html). Crime is also high, being ranked top 10-25 most dangerous countries in the world (https://www.osac.gov/Pages/ContentReportDetails.aspx?cid=24030). In 2017 there were 1,200 reports of theft and assault, 4,400 homicides, 5,200 aggravated assaults, and over 2,900 missing persons (https://www.osac.gov/Pages/ContentReportDetails.aspx?cid=24030). Narco-trafficking activity, gang violence, and defective and corrupt law enforcement seem to be accountable for this high murder rate (https://www.osac.gov/Pages/ContentReportDetails.aspx?cid=24030).

The people of Honduras and El Salvador are also in a similar situation, with some of the highest poverty and crime rates in the world. “Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Latin America and has one of the world’s highest murder rates.” –CIA Factbook. 

While President Trump has threatened the caravan by trying to build the wall, and saying he will send the military down to the border, he fails to realize why his threats aren’t working. These people will come no matter what because they have no other option. “They’re not gonna go back, there’s nothing there for them. They will either die in their home country or die trying to get out, for that slight chance that they might be able to have a better life.” –undisclosed source. 

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Government shutdown prompts talk of immigration