Why Nicaraguan Kids Aren’t Fleeing To U.S. | KPBS

Why Nicaraguan Kids Aren’t Fleeing To U.S.

It is Central America’s poorest country, but its kids aren’t heading north like those in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras

Nicaraguans at a political march in the capital Managua. August 28, 2005

Above: Nicaraguans at a political march in the capital Managua. August 28, 2005

Republican Congressman Darrell Issa of Vista recently returned from a fact-finding mission to Central America and blamed impoverished economies for the unprecedented number of children entering the U.S. illegally.

Aired 7/29/14 on KPBS News.

Nicaragua is Central America’s poorest country, yet its children aren’t fleeing to the border along with their Salvadoran, Guatemalan and Honduran neighbors. Experts say that’s because of the country’s low crime rate, effective police force and unique migration history.

Issa said the new arrivals should be expeditiously deported.

But if economics is the main trigger, why aren’t kids also coming from Nicaragua, Central America’s poorest country and one that has strong ties to the U.S., dating back to the 1970s?

The U.S. Border Patrol apprehended just 178 Nicaraguan children sneaking across the border alone between Oct. 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014, compared to 16,546 children from Honduras, the origin of the greatest number of children apprehended.

Nicaragua has extreme poverty, but it lacks what the White House and experts on the region have also attributed as a cause for the migration: high crime and violence.

A map shows Mexico and the countries in Central America — Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia.

A map shows Mexico and the countries in Central America — Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia.

The alarming influx of children and families from Central America has fueled demonstrations and debate over U.S. immigration policy and the causes of the emigration. Most of the children are from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

Nicaragua is striking in its absence from the pool of child immigrants and from America’s national conversation about them.

It is the second poorest country in Latin America, behind Haiti. It is sandwiched between Honduras on the north and Costa Rica on the south.

more here–> Why Nicaraguan Kids Aren’t Fleeing To U.S. | KPBS.

Thanks for this article and the generally good reporting coming out of NPR and PBS on Nicaragua. I find it interesting that our US representatives find it difficult to distinguish between someone who tries to emigrate based on purely economical reasons and someone who flees basically because they are afraid for their lives.
People in Nicaragua are emigrating for economic reasons whereas the other countries severe security and safety issues which drives more emigrations.

While the economy has been good in Nicaragua in recent years, it still is the the second poorest in the hemisphere. But now lots of investment is coming from other Central American countries due to the relatively good safety and security of the country. I guess it just shows you that people can live poor but in a safe environment. If you are both poor and insecure, then all bets are off. Maybe that is why other countries are looking at the policing techniques used here.

Cheers, Mike @ Farmstay El Porton Verde, Managua

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