Well, I have been for a few weeks now to read comments and thoughts about the migrants from Central America who have been making their way toward the United States. So far, the activists among us have been fairly quiet, so here are my two cents. The people coming up from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala say they are seeking asylum. Ok, there is a process for applying for asylum and having it granted. And it can be a lengthy process. Now that some of them have made it to the border, a few hundred have been captured on TV trying to cross the border without going through the “paper work process.”
The politicians have a field day with this. And granted it, it looks bad to see all the people running in different directions fleeing the tear gas. But here is a question that has been getting little attention, what is going to happen to the people
who have applied for entry into the United States? Some have been waiting for long time already.
There is a notion out there that there is a single line for gaining legal status in the United States. The reality is that there are
multiple lines depending on one’s circumstances. For those trying to gain entry into the United States there are,
according to Priscilla Alvarez, an assistant editor at The Atlantic, three factors that determine who gets approved:
what category an individual falls under, how many others are in that category, and when an individual applies.
Certain types of people have to wait decades to apply for an immigrant visa, while others take a much shorter amount of time. A
U.S. permanent resident’s unmarried son or daughter, who is 21 years old or older, will have to wait roughly 21 years to file an
application for an immigrant visa if they’re from Mexico, according to the State Department’s visa
bulletin. The delay is a result of too much demand.
The Department of Homeland Security keeps records of how many immigrants have gained lawful permanent
residence. According to the agency’s latest figures, 289,000 immigrants obtained this status in the first quarter of fiscal year 2017,
along with 270,000 in the second quarter. Roughly half did so through their immediate relatives who are U.S. citizens.
Approximately 13 percent qualified under an employment based category. The asylum seekers currently at
the border or making their way to the border represent a whole different category of folks.
Increasingly we are seeing reports of Mexican citizens protesting the presence of the Central American asylum seekers. There have been counter demonstrations from Mexicans demanding the asylum seekers leave. But where are they to go is the question? The United States appears to not be really interested in help them. Mexico is giving lip service to the dilemma. Some of the asylum seekers have elected to go home. And others are afraid of returning to their home countries.
Many politicos are silent about this issue because they just don’t have a good solution. Many community activities are also
silent because they too, do not have a good response to contribute. And those who are responding are doing so on a
¿Qué se debe hacer? humanitarian basis which is good, but only temporary. This situation is going to get worse before it gets
Copyright 2018 by Alfredo R. Santos, Editor and Publisher La Voz E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org For the full issue of La Voz visit: email@example.com Photo of amnesty sign copyrighted by barrio Dog Productions, photo of immigrants in the public domain.