A perilous journey

A perilous journey

Economics students witness the challenges of migration in Mexico

A group of migrants at a shelter near Puebla, Mexico, sat in a circle of chairs and stared nervously across at five students from Eva Dziadula's Economics of Immigration class and a few other Notre Dame students studying abroad there.

The migrants were nearly all young men from Honduras. How could they describe the harrowing decision to leave their families and homes or the tortuous trip of thousands of miles on top of dangerous freight trains to get to the border of the United States?

Finally, one took the lead and spoke up.

José said he hopes to do carpentry and painting in the U.S. to provide money for his family. At home, he said, he can't make much money no matter how hard he works, and if he saves anything, it's usually stolen. He was making his third attempt without a “coyote” guide, which can cost thousands of dollars he doesn't have.

Asked about dangers on the trip, José shed some tears talking about the violence they face from Mexican authorities and gangs that often rob or beat the migrants. He said they just want to help their families and hope to be treated like human beings.

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