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home : opinion : letters to the editor
April 19, 2019

1/16/2019 10:26:00 AM
The Mexican border and personal gain

The Mexican border and personal gain
Last June I went on a medical mission to Honduras, Central America.
There, I witnessed the same things I had seen in Uganda, Africa years before - immense poverty, little industrialization and jobs, lack of infrastructure (roads, sewer, electricity, etc.), a huge disproportional number of young women with multiple children and few 20- to 40-year-old men.
I was told by Honduras natives that people truly do walk from Honduras to the U.S., at a rate of about 30 miles a day. It is a 30- to 40-day trip. After that walk, if that person can get a job cleaning tables in an American restaurant, their family will never go hungry again.
This situation has concerned me. I have told many what I had seen. I have written in our company newsletter accounts of that trip, prayed and, in general, the situation there troubled me.
So, when the national news media highlighted the plight of 5,000 of those people making that trek the first week of November 2018 - I felt I could relate to their situations in their homelands of Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and across Central America.
For a time, the national news media and certain individuals highlighted with reports and showed pictures from the border of border guards tear-gassing women, pregnant ladies crossing barbed wire border fences, families being separated because of lack of facilities and not enough personnel to handle immigration process, mass groups of people in Mexican border towns, etc.
That same news media portrayed the situation as very serious. Constant headlines showed various "angles" of the same story.
Now, a mere 60 days later, I hear and read from those same people that there is no problem at our Mexican border. Am I to assume the problem has been solved in Honduras and across Central America?
I fear not. I fear the national news media and certain vocal people are just doing what they did last fall, using those people and their situation for personal gain or to sell advertising.
When I went to college in the Twin Cities in 1969, there were people who did the same thing along Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis - used rural and vulnerable young people for personal gain. They called those people "pimps." While I feel the national news media does the same thing today, I am not sure what the politically-correct name is today.
     - Donavan J. Olson

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