It has been made clear that migrants crossing the southern U.S. border are being terribly mistreated. But it is imperative to look at this question: Why do these thousands of migrants make the grueling trip to the U.S. border to apply for asylum, a system to admit persons in fear for their lives?

Honduras suffered a coup in 2009 against a respected president. The United States supported this coup and continues to support illegitimate presidents as allies. The number of deaths from police beatings and other forms of attack is in the thousands. Post-coup presidents are being challenged on drug issues, yet the U.S. claims to send funds to cooperate with Honduras against drug shipments.

Guatemala just held an election, and has asked the U.N.-backed anti-corruption commission to leave.

It threatens to release from prison killers of dissidents during the country’s civil war. A U.S. mining company is pressuring Guatemala to force Indigenous communities off land it wants for gold mining, land they have defended for seven years, now, though it was always theirs.

Leadership in both Honduras and Guatemala violates policies to protect communities from takeover by foreign mining companies and hydroelectric projects.

In 2014, in Honduras, the entire agency charged with children’s interests was eliminated, all assets liquidated, historian Dana Frank has reported in HuffPost. Between 2010 and 2013, 458 children 14 or younger were assassinated, according to a nonprofit child advocacy group.

Detailed reports from visiting groups in 2018 and 2019 describe brutal actions against civilians, and murders, including that of environmental leader Berta Caceres. Two different visiting groups described disdainful response from the U.S. embassy when they attempted to report findings.

We must protest the incarceration of children and parents at the border.

The U.S. must maximize asylum program efficiency.

It is imperative that the U.S. stop pretending these countries are partners.

Grace Braley

Portland


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