How a Climate Change-Fueled Drought and US-Fed Violence Drives Immigration

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: To take a broader scope on this issue, you have traveled throughout Mexico and trying to deal with how — and to report on how these caravans and Central American migrants and refugees have developed. I’m wondering if you could talk about two aspects that don’t get very much attention in terms of what drives the migrants and the refugees. One is the issue of the growing drought recently in Central America. And two is also this whole issue of the deportation of felons who were convicted in the United States, maybe raised in the United States, but were originally from El Salvador or Guatemala or Honduras, and have been deported in recent decades.

I think The Washington Post reported El Salvador alone, over a 20-year period, 95,000 people were deported from the US after getting out of prison, back to El Salvador. That is 1.5 percent of the entire population of El Salvador — people that were deported back to the country after serving time here in the US The impact of these criminals then going down to their countries where maybe they were born in but they don’t really know and developing the kinds of drug gangs that then force people to flee?

JOHN CARLOS FREY: You bring up two very good reasons for people to leave Central America. And the one that you were just mentioning, we have a program in California and now in the United States, where we will deport people who have Green Cards, people who are in the country legally, if you are a gang member. And it really doesn’t matter if you have been in the United States most of your life. It also doesn’t matter necessarily what crimes you may have committed. If you are a gang member, we’re going to deport you. We have every right to rescind your legal status, and we’re going to send you back to the country of origin, even if you came to the United States as a child.

That is exactly what we have done….

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