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  1. #1
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    Recent Central American Immigrants in New Orleans tell their Stories SOB!

    Recent Central American Immigrants in New Orleans Tell Their Stories

    Migrants Flee Violence in Honduras, Face Deportation Hearings


    Sept. 19, 2014 7:32 p.m. ET
    The latest wave of illegal immigration into the U.S. is distinguished by the large number of Central American women and children, as well as minors traveling alone, who have crossed the Southern border. Many come from Honduras, a country that has a longtime association with New Orleans. Hondurans began settling there during the heyday of the banana trade in the 1900s. More recently, they flocked to the city after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to help rebuild. Now, many of these established immigrants are housing relatives and friends who are part of the current influx. Here are the stories told by a handful of these new migrants. The Wall Street Journal reviewed documents they presented from U.S. authorities for corroboration of some details of their accounts.
    Jose Suazo

    Rosa Etelvina walks with her daughters Deili Suazo, left, and Areiny Suazo near their home in New Orleans East. The three journeyed from Honduras and crossed the border into the U.S. together in May. William Widmer for The Wall Street Journal

    Construction worker Jose Suazo moved to New Orleans to help rebuild the city after Hurricane Katrina. Last year, he earned a green card.
    Over the years, he sent money home to support his two daughters, whom he hoped to bring to the U.S. once he became a legal resident. But that process can take years, and a few months ago, he decided that it was too risky to wait.
    Gangs had followed his 13-year-old daughter, Areiny, threatening to rape her after she ignored their overtures to join them. They had already killed a neighbor's daughter. The girl had to stop going to school to be safe.

    In June, Mr. Suazo dipped into his savings to pay a "coyote" $6,500 to guide Areiny, 10-year-old Deili and their mother, Rosa Etelvina, from Honduras to the U.S. They traveled in a group of nine mothers and children. To try to keep Areiny safe, her mother disguised her as a boy.
    After four days in detention in May, Ms. Etelvina and her two daughters were released to Mr. Suazo. They are awaiting a hearing in New Orleans immigration court and hope the judge will allow them to remain in the U.S. in the U.S
    "May God protect us," said a teary Ms. Etelvina. "We don't want to return to Honduras."
    Such violence has been the most powerful driver of this year's surge in Central American migration to the U.S., according to a recent study by the nonpartisan Inter-American Dialogue. Using data from 900 municipalities in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, the think tank that studies migrant workers determined that homicides were more strongly correlated with emigration than other factors were, including poverty. The correlation was strongest in Honduras.
    Maria Isabel Sierra

    Maria Isabel Sierra holds photographs from Honduras. She and her children left there after her husband was shot and killed by local gangs in front of the small convenience store he operated. William Widmer for The Wall Street Journal

    In March last year, two masked gunmen shot Maria Isabel Sierra's husband to death one day when he came home.
    For years, Ms. Sierra and her husband, Juan Simon Andrade, had operated a small grocery store adjacent to their house in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. In January 2013, gangs began demanding they pay a weekly "war tax" to stay open, constantly extorting ever-larger sums. Finally, the couple said no.
    "We couldn't afford it anymore," said Ms. Sierra, 44. "We had a mortgage. We have a handicapped daughter."
    The deadly gunfire, witnessed by the couple's son, Jose Alfredo, 11, was the gang's answer to their refusal. One of the gunmen pointed his weapon at Ms. Sierra before departing as a warning.
    She keeps a copy of a story from the next day's newspaper, which recounts her husband's slaying and is accompanied by a photograph of his dead body and bullet-riddled home. "Extortionist gangs continue to finish with merchants," it reads.
    "My happiness was destroyed," said the widow, weeping uncontrollably.
    After more threats, Ms. Sierra decided the family should flee to the U.S., where she has relatives and friends. During a 20-day journey by bus and foot to the Southwest border, they had to push in a wheelchair Angela Karina, 13, who couldn't walk due to a spinal defect. In rocky terrain, other migrants helped carry her.
    In New Orleans, Ms. Sierra has filled a loose-leaf binder with documents she received from immigration officials at the border and pieces of her family history: her marriage certificate and wedding pictures, her husband's death certificate and autopsy, the newspaper clipping on his death. She hopes to find an attorney to help her family win asylum.
    "I never intended to come to this country," she said during an interview. "Yet here I am—with nothing."
    Linssi Valentin

    Francis Valentin styles her daugher Linssi's hair inside their apartment in New Orleans East. Ms. Valentin left Honduras and crossed the border into the U.S. in May with her daughter and son. She now works as a hairdresser and maid in a local hotel. William Widmer for The Wall Street Journal

    Linssi Valentin, 9, traveled by train, bus and foot to the Mexico-Texas border in May to reach her mother and brother, who arrived in New Orleans last year. All are members of an Afro-Honduran minority called Garifuna.
    "Some mothers I knew were coming, so I arranged to have my daughter in their group," explained her mother, Francis Valentin, who raised $3,000 among relatives to help pay for a "coyote" to guide the group on its journey.
    In Texas, the skinny young girl who likes bright hair bows was housed in a government shelter and underwent a medical screening all children go through. Her lungs, abdomen and leg joints were deemed "normal." Her gait showed "no limp," and her pupils were "equal, round and react to light," the form said. She also was administered a delousing.
    Linssi is reluctant to talk about crossing the border or her time at the shelter, which she described as "boring." She recalls getting five vaccines on each arm that "hurt a lot."
    In June, she was released to her mother in Texas. They took a bus to New Orleans, where Ms. Valentin's sister and brother have lived for years.
    For work, Ms. Valentin cleans rooms in hotels in the French Quarter. On the side, she works as a beautician, in an improvised salon in the dining room of the small apartment she has found.
    As she awaits a date for her first appearance in immigration court, Ms. Valentin says discrimination against her ethnic group, gang violence and poverty prompted her to leave Honduras. Although here now, she knows she may be going back.
    "I understand we could be deported," she said.
    Zoila Solis

    Zoila Solis sits with her son, back, and nephew in her brother's living room in New Orleans East, where she has been staying since crossing the border into the U.S. in May. William Widmer for The Wall Street Journal

    Zoila Solis, 42, heard from friends and neighbors in Honduras that the U.S. wouldn't turn back women and children who reached its Southwest border. So in July, she set out with her son, Victor, 11, to try to join her brother and his family in New Orleans, where they have lived for more than a decade.
    After spending six days in detention at the border, the mother and son were released with orders to report to the immigration office in New Orleans.
    Officials there told Ms. Solis she must wear an ankle monitor, which lets authorities track her movements. It is meant to ensure she will show up at her deportation hearings when they begin.
    The monitors are part of an "Alternatives to Detention" program for immigrants in removal proceedings, which also includes telephone reporting and unannounced home visits. Keeping a migrant in custody costs $120 a day, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement figures. Ankle monitors cost just $4.50 a day to administer.
    Ms. Solis is among many women in the recent wave of Central American migrants to be fitted with electronic monitoring devices, which are affixed to people 18 or older on a case-by-case basis. About 8,000 illegal immigrants wear such a device, immigration officials say.
    For Ms. Solis, the flashing device was an unwelcome surprise. "I didn't know that they would put this on me," she said. "I am not a criminal; I'm not trying to escape."
    Write to Miriam Jordan at

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    These are pretty big "Children". Another scam by the Obama administration.

    If the government wanted to help the people of these countries, it would monitor the all of the money that is sent there and stop giving the politicians incentive, low interest/no interest loans based on the money that the illegals remit back home. Thank Hillary Clinton for that one.

    US signs historic deal with El Salvador and Honduras for remittance securitization


    The United States has recently signed separate Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with El Salvador and Honduras to assist them in securitizing their future remittance receipts to raise financing for infrastructure and development projects. Under the Building Remittance Investment for Development, Growth, and Entrepreneurship (BRIDGE) initiative, banks in these countries will leverage their future remittance receipts to raise lower-cost and longer-term financing in international capital markets to fund infrastructure, public works, and commercial development initiatives (see press release).
    In a speech in New York City on September 22, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton explained how BRIDGE would work to raise critically needed development funding:
    “…Now, if they [migrants] send these remittances through the formal financial system, they create huge funding flows that are orders of magnitude larger than any development assistance we can dream of. By harnessing the potential of remittances, BRIDGE will make it easier for communities in El Salvador and Honduras to get the financing they need to build roads and bridges, for example, to support entrepreneurs, to make loans, to bring more people into the financial system…..Through BRIDGE and its in-country partners, local banks will be able to leverage their remittance flows….With the leverage from remittances, the local banks will be able to get lower-cost, longer-term financing for investments in infrastructure projects and small businesses.”
    The financing structure proposed under BRIDGE is similar to that used by banks in several remittance-receiving countries such as Brazil, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Peru and Turkey, to raise over $15 billion in international financing during the last decade (see previous work on this topic by my colleagues Dilip Ratha and Suhas Ketkar on securitization of future-flow receivables and new paths to funding).
    The BRIDGE initiative provides an excellent application of innovative financing instruments leveraging on migration and remittances. The World Bank group has recently become involved in this area. The International Finance Corporation has recently provided up to $30 million debt financing for securitizing the significant remittances of El Salvadorans working abroad to raise financing for a credit cooperative Fedecredito. These additional resources will be used to increase lending to micro-entrepreneurs and low-income people in the country. Increasingly the Bank is receiving requests to assist countries to raise funds through diaspora bonds.

    Last edited by Newmexican; 09-20-2014 at 11:36 PM.

  3. #3
    Forced amnesty to redistribute the wealth.....
    Newmexican likes this.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by working4change View Post
    Forced amnesty to redistribute the wealth.....
    To less successful countries.

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