The American Dream
Is it worth risking your life for the American dream? Many people seem to think so; many children seem to think so. According to NPR the U.S. Immigration officials say the expect some 60,000 young, unaccompanied migrants to enter the US illegally this year- mostly from Central America. It's something I hear all the time. The desire to want to go to the United States. There is an unrealistic idea of what the United States is however in comparison to El Salvador in the area of gangs and violence the United States can appear to be an euphoria. A place where you can leave your house or walk down the streets and not fear for your life. Don't get me wrong I know there are very dangerous parts all over the U.S. but in comparison it is still safer. Economically we are talking minimum wage here is $1.00 an hour. Cost of living is just as high if not higher here and the majority of people don't get paid enough to even come close to cover the costs. Rent may be cheaper but clothing, food, and personal items are triple the price. Why do these children flee? The same article from NPR states,
"In the last few years, what's really been a driving factor has been the increased violence in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. These are really the three countries that these children are coming from. And increasingly, these countries are controlled by gangs. And so a lot of these gangs are going to schools and they're saying to very young children - you will join with me to move drugs, to extort people in your neighborhood, to kill people or I will kill you - I will kill your entire family. They are fleeing for their very lives. And that's really what the UN Human Rights Commission recently found, that six in ten of these children are being forcibly displaced from their countries." You can read more here:
This problem/situation hit home when I noticed a student of mine had missed quite a few days of school. I talked to my director and she had heard nothing. Days turned into months and my student never came back. We finally found out that she went illegally to the U.S. with her grandmother. Thankfully, they did make it but the grandmother is in jail and my student in one of those shelters that is mentioned in the article above. What will happen to my student? I don't know. But my mom made a sobering but true point, "Their lives are already at risk so risking it for another life is nothing to them..."