Jul 15 2014

Award Winning Journalist Sonia Nazario Humanizes Central American Child Migrants

Texas Republican house member Michael McCaul has offered his opinion in the debate over Central American child migration: build warehouses in countries like Guatemala and Honduras to which migrant children can directly be deported and processed. It seems incredible that conservatives in the US are able to demonize children without batting an eye but that is what seems to be happening.

On one end of the spectrum is McCaul’s bizarre suggestion. On the other end is the gun-toting armed militia movement, formerly known as the Minute Man project, today reincarnated as Operation Secure Our Borders. Militia leader Chris Davis told Fox News that his intent was to “protect freedom of liberty, protect national sovereignty,” by pointing guns at the heads of incoming children and force them back over the border on pain of death.

Nearly 60,000 children mostly from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala have arrived in the US since last October. Many of them are being held in facilities as President Obama and the governors of border states struggle to find a politically acceptable solution.

The phenomenon of child migration from Latin America is hardly new. Years ago, before it landed on the US news radar, thousands of children were already jumping on top of trains and making the perilous journey into the US. One American reporter retraced the journey herself to get to the heart of the important questions of what motivates the migration, what are the dangers and difficulties migrants face, and what happens to families when they are separated.

GUEST: Sonia Nazario, author of Enrique’s Journey, based on a series of prize winning reports she wrote for the LA Times. Enrique’s Journey has been published in eight languages and has been adopted by 54 universities and scores of high schools nationwide. It garnered Nazario the Pulitzer prize, the George Polk Award, the Grand Prize of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, and many more.

Click here to read Nazario’s recent New York Times op-ed.

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