The unprecedented increase in families and unaccompanied minors arriving in south-western US states could be being fueled by rumors circulating in Central America. The Los Angeles Times claims that many recent immigrants say that the reason they made the trip was a rumor that claims adults entering the United States with a minor will be permitted to stay on an indefinite basis.
With the amount of immigrants coming over the border having increased at an extraordinary rate, the Department of Homeland Security and immigration officials have found it difficult to come up with a timely course of action to cope with the rise. The result is that a lot of these new arrivals simply get left at bus stations and told to go to an office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement close to their final destination in the next 15 days.
The rumors in Central America have been fueled by news of this policy, resulting in a self-perpetuating cycle. Austin immigration attorney Dan Kowalski says that these rumors may also be being used by smugglers to persuade more immigrants to hire them to help with crossing the border.
“Desperate migrants from Central America may cling to any slim reed of hope,” Kowalski says. “This false rumor of a new ‘opportunity’ is leading some to embark on a dangerous journey. They have no idea what they’re facing. The smugglers are milking this situation for all it’s worth.”