Sonia Nazario, author of “Enrique’s Journey: the story of a boy’s dangerous odyssey to reunite with his mother” talks to Steve Scher about the plight of one of the tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors who illegally cross Mexico by freight train and then the U.S. border in order to reunite with their families in the U.S.
She spoke to Seattle area audiences April 2015, about America’s Immigration Dilemma and the policies that might help these families.
Tens of thousands of Central American children, unaccompanied by parents or other adults are hopping freights and fleeing the drug cartels, the gangs and the thuggish police in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Almost 50 thousand arrived by the middle of the summer of 2014, when the surge captured media and political attention. These children are often robbed, raped, beaten or kidnapped along the way. Thousands are detained in detention cells for months before their fate- often deportation is determined. There are at least 5 holding facilities in the Puget Sound Area alone.
Though this story exploded onto the public mind last year, it has been a humanitarian crisis for years. Journalist Sonia Nazario won a Pulitzer Prize for her LA Times coverage in 2003 for “Enrique’s Journey,” a Honduran boy’s search for his mother who emigrated to the U.S. It became a best selling book in 2006. In 2014, her book gathered attention again, as the rising flood of young children peaked at about 60 thousand by the end of the year. Numbers are lower in 2015, as the U.S. has paid Mexico interdict the migrants before they reach our border. However the violence, criminality and chaos these children are fleeing has continued unabated.
Sonia Nazario’s book is assigned in schools and universities around the world. She speaks to organizations and communities about the difficult journey, the hard conditions these young people are fleeing and the need to at least provide them with legal representation at immigration hearings.
For more interviews with those guests, search for At Length with Steve Scher