Sunday, May 29, 2016

On the Mexico border, a surge of migrants ahead of a possible ‘Trump Wall’

By Joshua Partlow, Washington Post
May 26, 2016

MCALLEN, Texas: To save time, Adriana Zavala would take a shortcut down an empty lane on the way to school, until the afternoon last September when the tattooed Salvadoran gangsters blocked her way.

The threats she began receiving that day — sell our drugs to your classmates or we’ll rape you — propelled the teenager, her father and 13-year-old sister to begin a five-month odyssey from El Salvador that has ended, for now, in this Texas town. They are among thousands of migrants arriving at the US border in what authorities fear could be another surge of Central American families.

“In my country, they’re going to kill me. And I can’t die right now. There are so many things I want to do,” said Zavala, a 17-year-old who wants to be a chef and take singing classes.

On the US campaign trail, illegal immigration is a hot-button topic, with the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, vowing to build a 1,000-mile border wall. But along this stretch of Texas border, where migrants climb over and walk around existing fencing, such proposed solutions tend to draw scorn, even from Trump fans. And the politician’s tough talk, people here say, might actually be attracting more migrants.[...]

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