The mother of the eight-year-old Guatemalan boy who died after crossing the border this week says that she sent her young son on the treacherous voyage to help her husband’s chances of being able to stay in the US illegally.
The boy’s mother Catarina Alonzo told Reuters that bringing children is the easiest way for migrants to be accepted into the US. According to the Washington Post, the smugglers also charge less than half the price if a child is accompanying the adult “knowing that migrants can turn themselves in to border agents and will soon be released.”
“Lots of them have gone with children and managed to cross, even if they’re held for a month or two. But they always manage to get across easily,” Alonzo told Reuters.
Guatemala’s foreign ministry is warning that coyotes and human traffickers are using President Trump’s plan to build a wall along the border to urge migrants to take their chances now.
“According to interviews (with migrants), the coyotes are saying ‘it’s now or never’ because the wall is going to be built, and it won’t be possible to cross,” the spokeswoman told Reuters.
The boy is the second child to die this month after being dragged along on the dangerous trip. An official cause of death has not yet been made public.
Now, the family is asking that they let the boy’s father stay and work in the US so that his “death won’t be in vain.”