Ironically, the election of Donald Trump, who ran on a tough promise to build a wall at the southern border of the United States to keep illegal immigrants from crossing into the country, has spurred a massive uptick in the numbers of Central Americans doing just that.

Honduras’ deputy foreign minister Maria Andrea Matamoros told Reuters, “We’re worried because we’re seeing a rise in the flow of migrants leaving the country, who have been urged to leave by coyotes telling them that they have to reach the United States before Trump takes office.”

“Coyotes” take exorbitant sums of money to smuggle humans across the border, often in inhumane conditions that result in the death of many trying to find their way to the U.S. to escape the violence and poverty of their own country.

Trump, who was the underdog in the 2016 election, has promised not only to build the wall, but to deport millions of aliens living in the U.S. illegally.

His strong stance and tough threats now seem about to become reality with his surprise win in November, and thousands of migrants are making their move to get across the border before the wall goes up.

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson reported that the number of people detained at the southern border has risen steeply from 37,048 in August to 46,195 in October, numbers that do not even estimate the number who have not been apprehended as they cross into the U.S.

The majority are from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras

“I have told our border security and immigration enforcement personnel that we must keep pace with this increase,” Johnson said in a statement.

The influx has resulted in overcrowded conditions in detention facilities and creating health and safety issues.

Johnson has secured temporary housing near the Texas border with Mexico as a stop-gap measure, but the 500-bed facility is woefully inadequate to make a difference.

Where approximately 30,000 detainees are housed in detention facilities, now as many as 41,000 are held.

One woman who is braving the journey said, “They tell us the new president doesn’t like illegal immigrants, but we have to take the chance. Nobody wants to die in a horrible way, and we can’t be in Guatemala any longer. My children are growing up in fear.”

 

 

 

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