For some time now, hundreds of thousands of people every year have flocked to the United States from Central American countries, fleeing the poverty and danger that threatens them and their loved ones.
Photo source: BBC
Migrants from countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Mexico make the perilous journey to the US-Mexico border in desperate search of a better life, yet upon reaching the border are often detained in inhumane conditions or simply sent away with even less to their name than before.
Though this is not a new issue, it is one that has received heightened media attention recently due to a photo that was published of a man and his 23 month old daughter, who drowned in the Rio Grande on the Mexican side of the border.
It has spurred emotional and touching responses from various politicians, such as former US Vice President Joe Biden, and spokespeople from charities and supporting networks. This heart-breaking picture has served as a reminder about just how difficult and dangerous the fight is to reach the supposed ‘land of the free’. Though this event has rocketed the crisis back to the forefront of media focus, it has been growing steadily worse under the radar, with double the number of illegal migrants apprehended in the first 9 months of this fiscal year than in the entire 12 months of the previous.
Yet, the US continues to fight amongst itself about the best way to approach and mediate this crisis.
President Trump is notoriously in favour of tightening the nation’s asylum laws and has released statements praising border control, amongst claims of mistreatment and misconduct in the holding cells. However, other members of congress are more sympathetic towards the plight of those trying to enter the country. The Democrats and Republicans have both recently proposed bills offering billions in aid towards the border crisis, yet the discrepancies in the bills have yet to be reconciled. Furthermore, the Whitehouse has openly expressed its lack of support for such legislation.
As tensions rise, the crisis affects more families and children every day. Though there are yet to be conclusive decisions made by the United States, we can offer help in our own small way. Whether it be in time or money, it is true what they say: every little counts. For example, one of Indigo’s projects is a children’s refuge in the south of Mexico called Misión México and is always looking for volunteers.
Involvement on any scale can make a huge difference, even if simply through keeping yourself and others informed. If nothing else, these people deserve our attention and solidarity.