Migrant Advocate Cites Increasing Exodus from Central America to el Norte

By Jerry Kammer, October 24, 2012

Among the many immigration stories that are going untold by our steadily shrinking corps of newspaper reporters, one of the most important is the unrelenting exodus of Central Americans heading northward in hopes of crossing illegally into the United States. Univision's reporter in El Salvador had a brief story about the phenomenon on yesterday's evening news.

"Ever larger groups of Central American migrants trying to reach the United States have become a common sight for someone who has seen them pass by for many years", said reporter Salvador Castellanos in his lead-in to the comments of Father Alejandro Solalinde.

Solalinde is a Catholic priest who operates a shelter near Mexico City that takes in migrants who ride northward perched atop freight trains that start near the Guatemala border. He also speaks out publicly and angrily about the abuses they suffer at the hands of criminals, police, and government officials.

Solalinde said that last year and the year before that, he used to see trains carrying 40 to 60 migrants. "Now its hundreds and more", he said.

Reporter Castellanos said that, according to Central American migration authorities, a total of 600 migrants are heading northward every day from Guatemala, Salvador, and Honduras. He cited three causes: bad economies, the lack of law and order in those countries, and the draw of relatives already living in the United States.