Immigrants would rather face ICE than stay home
It's important to think of immigrants and asylum-seekers, especially now. But don't just think of them after they get to the United States, are captured by ICE, and have their children kidnapped.
Think of them even beyond the journey they went through to get to the border, however brutal it is, often traveling thousands of miles through dangers ranging from freighthopping to sex trafficking.
Think of them where they used to live. In their home countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and many others, where destabilization has provoked gang violence beyond comprehension. In some places, gangs like MS-13 threaten young men and their families, forcing them to join, flee, or die. For this reason, more children (often unaccompanied) and their families have attempted immigration to the United States.
News of ICE's rigidly cruel policies of using child separation to incentivize recanting asylum claims has certainly reached the places that families flee.
The sad truth lies in the combination of ICE's brutality and Central American gangs. Teenage boys and their families would rather face persecution from ICE than stay in their home countries.
So, think of the immigrants before they become immigrants. Understand that the United States' influence on latinx immigration begins long before their arrest by homeland security, long before the gang first approaches the teenage boy, long before the immigrant was born.
Our influence traces back long before the catastrophic sanctions on Venezuela and Cuba, long before the devastating interventions to dismantle cartels, long before the funding of death squads in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, and countless others. Long before the often-violent sabotage of democratically-elected governments in Guatemala, Chile, etc.
The long history of violence in Latin America, which drives asylum immigration to the United States, has the United States stamped all over it. And now, we're imprisoning or turning away refugees at the border.