Director of Marketing & Communications
The freedom to migrate continues to be a fundamental human right. We all have the right to migrate. Migration has been a vastly positive experience for the U.S. as well as the countries of origin. Immigrants have made and continue to make great contributions to this country. Although thousands of citizens from the Northern Triangle (Guatemala, Honduras & El Salvador) travel every day to the US/Mexico border, they don’t receive as much attention as the migrants traveling with the Refugee Caravan because they do not make themselves as visible.
Traveling with a caravan makes a lot of sense for poor folks. Alone, the journey is perilous and extremely dangerous; rape, trafficking, extortion and assassination are common as well as the high costs of coyotes, which can cost upwards of $10,000 or more per person. A staggering amount of money for a poor person from Central America. Traveling with a large group offers protection, especially for women and mothers traveling with small children and it’s free of charge.
But why are so many people leaving? Why such a mass exodus? Severe poverty with non-existent job prospects, extreme violence from organized crime groups as well as their own government and elite class, who could care less about the plight of their fellow citizens will continue to produce such mass exodus. The citizens of the northern triangle will always resolve that leaving their countries of origin is the best solution for survival and best opportunities for their children.
All of the above is the direct result of decades of ill fitted U.S. policies towards the countries of the Northern Triangle. But in spite of all the U.S. interventions over the years, it can all be reversed. A new vision is necessary of how the U.S. treats and relates its neighbors to the South. Common sense and compassion for the working-class people of the northern triangle must reign above special interest and capitalism in this new approach. We hope we see this new approach take place soon. In the meantime, we all have the right to migrate.
Juan Rivera is the Director of Marketing & Communications for CARECEN SF. He is an immigrant from El Salvador and attended UC Berkeley where he majored in Film Studies.