New wave of migrants puts US and other countries to the test
The current influx of migrants to the US is not like the one that first took hold two years ago, when hundreds of thousands of Central American families descended on the country seeking work. More than three years of economic growth and a surge of American tourists have increased the flow of people coming to the country in recent months, but the numbers are far smaller than in 2015.
When Donald Trump became president in January 2016, the Mexican government announced it would be sending its army to fight the migrants, and the United States responded by announcing a broad travel ban on nations whose citizens are believed to be in the migrant flow.
When the ban was lifted in October last year, many migrants did not head to the US because they were afraid of being deported, not because they were in search of a better life.
For thousands of newcomers, however, the new flow is not a matter of fear. Rather, they come to the US to find work. They come to find asylum in the US from countries such as Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, but they come for other reasons, too.
A new wave of migrants in recent months has pushed some states and local authorities to the limit.
In California, for example, a state Senate leader, Democrat Tony Mendoza, told a meeting of local politicians and business leaders that he was “heartbroken” by the number of Guatemalans arriving in southern California at the same time as US citizens.
“No one has been asked about the impact this situation is having on their community, so we do not know how many have left in the past couple of weeks because of this change,” he said.
In Washington State, which has received hundreds of thousands of Central Americans since it was first rocked by the influx of migrants earlier this year, another politician has tried to address the issue.
State Treasurer Nick Maddux made a plea for Washington to be a