There are currently an estimated 68.5 million displaced people in the world, 22 million of which are registered refugees.

Of this number, the United States is directly responsible for many, particularly the Central American populations currently arriving at our southern border.

we reap what we sow

The History


Major migrations and mass evacuations to the United States often come from countries that we once occupied. Latinx presence in the U.S. is a direct result of our government's actions in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America over many decades. This is not taught in schools, many documents and actions were hid from the American public, later to be declassified.

The current “Border Crisis” being discussed on the news and by the government is not an increase of illegal migration, it is the same refugee population that has been arriving for decades, seeking asylum from the Northern Triangle in Central America: Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.

These are the actions of the United States government that have led to the destabilization of economies and the corruption of governments which has resulted in the highest levels of violence in any part of the world.


After WWII, Guatemala experienced a brief democratic rule. Jacobo Arbenz was elected by the people, and was President from 1951-1954. His platform relied heavily on land reforms to boost the economy, he wanted to distribute land back to the citizens and away from U.S owned corporations (namely the United Fruit Company, which held the majority of the land at the time.) Robert White, former U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador describes this time as the “beginning of a terrible attitude of the U.S. towards Latin America, where change was our enemy.”

Eisenhower’s Secretary of State and his brother were both law partners at the firm who represented the UFC. Melvin Goodman, former CIA Division Chief, later admitted that overthrowing progressive governments gave the United States unencumbered access to land and natural resources.

So they did.

The CIA pushed propaganda that turned the tide of public opinion against Arbenz, painting him as a crazy radical. In 1954 they had him overthrown through the systematic organizing and financing of a rebellion. As the violent rebel faction (supported and trained by the U.S.) took hold of the government, remaining progressives were viciously repressed.

As a civil war developed, the progressives found support in the native Mayan community, who already faced the oppression common to indigenous populations.The now militant government responded with a genocide against the Mayans. Of the 200,000 people killed and 50,000 who went missing during this time, 83% were Mayan.

Declassified documents have proven that the CIA secretly trained Guatemalan death squads. In the 1980s, during the 36 year genocidal civil war that the U.S. was responsible for creating, less than 2% of Guatemalans were granted political asylum by the government.

el salvador

In El Salvador, a similar situation had been manufactured. Militant governments were in power, placed and trained by the CIA at the School of the Americas. Any citizen or group against U.S. foreign policy (anyone who supported the land reform Arbenz pushed for) was targeted, labeled ‘subversive’, and tortured and killed by the military.

Several acts of violence can be pointed to, the assassination of Bishop Romero, the murders at the Spanish Embassy, and the murders of the four American missionary women.

George W. Bush denied all accusations of our involvement in El Salvador. However the majority of those participating in the mass killings, the assassination of the Bishop, and the rape and murder of the four Americans were trained at the School of the Americas, on U.S. soil.

In the 1980s 4 Billion in U.S. aid provided to El Salvador, 70% of this went directly to the military and was spent on weapons. During this wartime period that the U.S. sustained and directly supported, less than 3% of Salvadorian applicants were granted political asylum in the U.S.


The School of the Americas was a tool used by the U.S. government to form close ties with future military leaders in Central America. United States companies profited and continue to profit directly from the instability, violence, and corruption curated in these countries.

Similar tactics were deployed in Honduras, the coffee trade became deregulated and land was distributed to U.S. companies instead of local farmers. Corruption in the government has led to the same levels of poverty, violence, food insecurity, and the strong gang presence that we see in it’s neighbors.

Corruption and war have led Honduras and El Salvador to have some of the highest murder rates in the world. Central American children are 10 times more likely to be murdered than American children.


The Journey


The decision to leave ones home and face a dangerous 2,000+ mile journey north is not made lightly, especially by a child or parent. Most of the time, it is the only option.


Threats on the road include: rape, robbery, and murder, often while using dangerous modes of transport.

Children and families flee with little to no food or money, money is likely to spent on bus tickets or a Coyotes assistance in crossing the border. Other options are to walk, or ride atop the trains, referred to as “El Tren De La Muerte”, The Train of Death. Many migrants and refugees die on these tracks.

Many more die of dehydration or hypothermia in the desert while attempting to crossinto the U.S. Volunteers that leave water and supplies in these areas are currently being prosecuted.

The existing border wall was responsible for the deaths of 10,000 people as of 2011.

asylum is legal

The Border


Numbers of those arriving at the southern border have been down during the Trump Administration, however within that number the demographic is shifting from young men (a sign of economic migration) to families and children (the sign of a refugee population.)

Asylum is a complicated process, especially for unaccompanied children to comprehend. Even within the small number of applications currently allowed, people are being denied outright their right to apply, and many who are able to enter the process are still facing separation from their children. With compliance so uncertain and risky, many attempt illegal crossings to save their lives and that of their children. Border cities are especially dangerous to stay too long in, trafficking is running rampant and shelters are overrun.

Mexico and Costa Rica have also been dealing with record numbers of refugees, in 2017 Mexico deported 89,000 Central Americans, including 9,000 children.

Refugee Quota


The President sets the quotas (in consultation with Congress and other government agencies) for the total number of refugees admitted each year into the U.S. The average of all administrations is 96,000.

The Obama administration responded to crisis in the Middle East and in Central America by increasing the number of asylum cases to allow, the Trump Administration has lowered this number three times already in response to refugee crisis in the Middle East and Central America, as well as implementing harsher policies such as the travel ban and the zero tolerance policy at the border to discourage immigration, travel, and asylum seeking from these countries.


UAC Apprehended in 2018


Thousands of children show up alone or with siblings at the U.S. border every year. Some are sent back to the their home countries, some detained, and many end up in agencies and hope for reunification with a family member. Refugee children with no family in the U.S. more often than not end up in the foster care system.

In October alone, 4,991 children were apprehended at the border. It was the third highest monthly total in FY2018.

Total UAC Apprehended in 2018:


pie chart

Family Separations


The “Zero Tolerance” policy was unique to the Trump Administration, and though it is no longer official policy, it has continued to cause unprecedented distress and harm to an already vulnerable population.

Separating a child from a family in most communities requires a child welfare specialist and involvement of the judicial system, often with a judge scrutinizing the case for months or even years.

At the border, the decision is made solely by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in the field. No child welfare specialist is required, and no judge is involved in a decision that cannot be appealed.

Immigration attorneys and family law experts say that the process used to separate children, most commonly carried out by Customs and Border Protection agents, has been shrouded in mystery, provides no due process for the parents, and is vulnerable to both abuse and mistakes.

Number of Children Separated:


How To Help

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