- Arkansas voter ID law struck down by state judge
- FDA proposes ban on e-cigarette sales to minors
- Bad omen? Italian man crushed to death by John Paul II crucifix
- Company stopped from accepting abortion waste
- Girl surprises Michelle Obama with unemployed dad’s resume
- ‘Harry Potter’ religion class seeks to enlighten students on ‘God, sin, and theodicy’
- ‘Optionally piloted’ Black Hawk helicopter clears tests; future missions to go ‘fully unmanned’
- Vice News reporter kidnapped in Ukraine is freed after being beaten, blindfolded
- FCC’s new ‘net neutrality’ proposal sparks outrage among consumer advocates
- Families of ferry’s lost confront South Korean officials
Deported illegals persist in quest to reclaim lives in U.S. shadows
TULTITLAN, Mexico — Alfonso Cordova lived in the United States for 30 years. He has a wife and two grown sons in Los Angeles, where he owned an auto repair shop until two months ago when he was deported to his native El Salvador.
Mr. Cordova, who spoke perfect English inside a packed migrant shelter here, now is scrambling to find a way back into the United States.
“I got a DUI one night,” said the 44-year-old, who briefly lived in Laurel, Md., before settling in Los Angeles. “I was stupid. I just made a mistake, and I got busted.”
The vast majority of undocumented Central Americans passing through Mexico are young first-timers, fleeing violence, unemployment and impoverished conditions in their home countries. But Mr. Cordova’s story of seeking to reclaim a life in the shadows of U.S. law is not uncommon.
“I lived in Florida for five years,” said Sebastian Ponce, 35, a native of Honduras who was deported from the United States in February.
His ultimate goal, however, is to make it back to Miami, where he earned $12 an hour working construction from 2007 through 2011.
“I was sending home about $250 a month. Now I’m going back to make more money,” Mr. Ponce said. “In Honduras, there’s no work and if you can find it, it pays only about $10 a day.”
U.S. Department of Homeland Security statistics show that the number of migrants captured while attempting to cross the southern U.S. border illegally has declined sharply in recent years.
The number of Border Patrol apprehensions, a generally accepted barometer for illegal immigration in the United States, plummeted from 1,189,000 in 2005 to fewer than 465,000 in 2010.
The Pew Hispanic Center, meanwhile, released a study Monday saying that net migration from Mexico has fallen to zero, suggesting that the 40-year tide of some 12 million Mexican nationals crossing into the United States — more than half of them illegally — has come to an end. From 2005 to 2010, about 1.4 million Mexicans migrated to the United States and a similar number of Mexican immigrants and their U.S.-born children moved from the U.S. to Mexico, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.
“The standstill appears to result from the weakened U.S. job market, heightened border enforcement, a rise in deportations, the growing dangers associated with illegal border crossings, and changing economic and demographic conditions in Mexico,” the center said on its website, www.pewhispanic.org.
While all of those factors may be true, ample evidence in Mexico shows that the number of Central Americans such as Mr. Cordova and Mr. Ponce migrating north continues unabated and may even be surging.
On Sunday, the Mexico City newspaper La Jornada cited interviews with relief workers at Catholic Church-run migrant shelters throughout southern and eastern Mexico in a report that said the number of Central Americans heading north has increased by 100 percent in recent weeks.
In some cases, women and children are also making the journey.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Guy Taylor is the National Security Team Leader at The Washington Times, overseeing the paper’s State Department, Pentagon and intelligence community coverage. He’s also a frequent guest on The McLaughlin Group and C-SPAN.
His series on political, economic and security developments in Mexico won a 2012 Virginia Press Association award.
Prior to rejoining The Times in 2011, his work was ...
- U.S. warns Russia on military posturing; Russia warns Ukraine on killings
- Rival Palestinian's unity deal a blow to struggling Mideast peace process
- Biden arrives to aid Ukraine; pro-Russians refuse to leave
- USAID documents cite Hillary Clinton in chaos of Afghan aid
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
- Holder cancels appearance in OKC amid angry protests
- In its hunt for Senate, Republican candidates campaign against Harry Reid
- Obamacare class-action suit opens a new legal front
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- Opposition rising to Colorado gun control laws
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- HURT: President Obama's 'Selfie Doctrine'
- Nevada rancher's racial remarks cost him range of support
- 'Conservatives' should feel exposed by Bundy's racist comments: Scarborough
- PRUDEN: Obama's fishy Asian adventure
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014