September 03, 2019
To the Editor:
Who are the asylum seekers?
A married couple Jean and Joe Roach, from our area, took their vacation time to go and find out.
During the 1980s-1990s the Northern Triangle of Central America: Guatemala, El Salvador suffered from vicious civil wars. In Guatemala, at least 200,000 people perished. The result today is a mix of warring gangs and corrupt security forces.
U.S. support of right-wing dictators led to unintended evil consequences. In El Salvador, right-wing death squads and paramilitary units such as Mara Salvatrucha 13 (MS-13), were formed and trained at the School of the Americas, Ft. Bending, Ga., then went back to Central America. Today MS-13 is a vicious criminal gang allied with drug cartels. Similar U.S. funded paramilitaries evolved in Guatemala and Honduras.
As a result, the Northern Triangle is the world’s most dangerous region outside of an official war zone according to Amnesty International. That is what’s driving asylum seekers to the U.S.
Women and girls live in a constant state of terror, treated as mere trophies in a ruthless war between gangs and cartels. They systematically target adolescent girls as sexual slaves, and boys as gang soldiers.
This couple interviewed many people who told their stories. One women watched her son shot in front of her eyes while holding her baby daughter. She walked to here, from Guatemala.
Asylum allows people to apply for protection upon or after arrival in the U.S.
U.S.immigration laws do not set a limit on the number of people who can be awarded asylum each year. Following due-process immigration hearings, the number in the past tended to be about 25,000 per year. With a spike in threats at home, there has been a substantial surge of asylum seekers
Surges of refugees, and asylum seekers come and go on our history. They don’t go on forever. Examples include those fleeing from Castro’s Cuba. Or the South Vietnamese boat people, or the African genocide victims, or the present day Syrian refugees. We are not in the midst of a unique crisis on our southwestern border, but part of the normal ebb and flow of history. Currently there are as many Chinese coming into our country through Vancouver into Seattle as those in our Southwest.
Here is the economic value of immigration, refugee and asylum seekers, between 2005 and 2014 they contributed$ 63 billion more to government revenues than they used in public services.
IRS data shows that immigrants paid yearly $ 23.6 billion in income taxes, taxes for benefits which they can’t even use, like Social Security and Medicare .
The documented people are being taken care of by towns like Las Cruces, New Mexico the cost of $29,000 a day or $11 million a year by the town and the State and by non-profit organizations, the Salvation Army, The Red Cross, faith-based border service corps, churchs and individual contributors.
The undocumented, those that haven’t seen a judge, yet are being sent back to Mexican prison like camps and are guarded like prisoners paid for by Trump.They may have to wait up to nine months to be helped.
These people are not criminals, as portrayed by the government.
They are just in need of help.
A. Jane Schrameyer