How the US is getting a glimpse of Mexico’s migration crisis
Florida newspapers have published a series of articles about the ongoing migrant crisis, including one by a Florida native who has lived in Mexico for 20 years.
The article, published in the Orange County Register and reported on by Fox News, shows the growing desperation of some Americans and the growing number of Mexicans who want to cross the border.
It also features the case of a 19-year-old Mexican woman who tried to enter the US in August, but was turned away.
“There’s a lot of fear in the US,” said the woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she did not want to jeopardize her future plans to become a US citizen.
“It’s like a lot more people are fleeing.”
The woman, identified only as Juana, said she has been living in Florida for 20 year.
She moved to the US from Mexico last year and has lived there for more than three years.
Juana, who is now married, said that the fear she felt when she first arrived in Florida was so extreme that she did the unthinkable.
“I thought I would die,” she said.
“I thought we are going to be deported.
I thought we’re going to go to jail.”
She said she was scared of the US border patrol.
“The border patrol would ask me, ‘Are you sure you want to come here?’,” she recalled.
“They were not letting me go through.”
The fear of being deported, she said, was “very hard to deal with.”
Juana said she is now afraid to return to Mexico.
“My heart is in fear,” she added.
“It’s a very, very sad situation,” said Elissa Sanchez, an associate professor at the University of Florida who specializes in migration.
“If you have a young family member, you don’t want to go back home and your heart is hurt.
If you have family members that are undocumented, that is the first thing that crosses your mind,” she explained.
“And then there’s all the fear that the US government has of them going back home.”
Sanchez said she would like to see the federal government provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
She said that, if the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) were to develop such a plan, it would need to be vetted by Congress and implemented within a short period of time.
“What is really interesting is that there are many things that could be done, including some changes to the system of naturalization and some changes in the system,” she continued.
“But, ultimately, the border crossing issue, if you can put it in the context of this migration crisis, the number of people who are entering illegally, and the lack of access to health care, education, employment, healthcare is a very serious issue.”
The US has the largest population of undocumented immigrants in the world, according to a Pew Research Center study in 2014.
The study found that nearly three-quarters of undocumented residents live in Florida, more than any other state.
The state’s undocumented population is estimated at around 16 million people, according the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), a group that advocates for undocumented residents.
Sanchez said she hopes to see that number grow in the coming years, because it is an issue that is going to affect people’s lives for years to come.
The Orange County newspaper, which is owned by the Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties, did not respond to requests for comment.