San Salvador. For Salvadorans, migratingmassively and irregularly to other countries, particularly the United States, is a common practice despite the dangers and barriers they face along the way.
The difficult economic situation and military repressionin the60s-70s, the civil war in the 80s and the phenomenon of the “maras” in the last 25 years, motivated and continues to motivate many Salvadorans to seek opportunities in other latitudes.
Various sources estimate that 2.5of the 6.3 million inhabitants of this nation live in the United States, Canada, Central America, Panama, Mexico, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Australia, among other countries. According to specializedagencies, 88.22 percent reside in the United States, mostly in the metropolitan area of Washington DC and in Los Angeles California.
However, the journey to reach that nation was and is fraught with innumerable dangers. It is widely documented that as they pass through Mexico many are victims of criminal gangs or are abandoned by human traffickers known as “coyotes”, others drown while trying to cross the RioBravo ravo, while not a few die in the desert.
Moreover, although the evil is less, those whomanaged to arrive and settle in the American Union, as happens with immigrants from Mexico and othercountries, are not well seen by certain Americans who argue that they come to take their jobs, while that others assumeattitudes close to racism with them.
As if that were not enough, the “raids” or deportationsof immigrants without papers continue unstoppable. According to theInternational Organizationfor Migration (IOM), between January and November 2022, 6,124 nationalswere deported, 106.9 percent more than in 2021.
However, none of thesepreventshundreds of Salvadorans from continuing to seek to reach the United States every day, facing the aforementioned dangers and, in addition, the fact that the border is surrounded by 25,000 agents and four thousand soldiers.
To all this, in ElSalvador, the US embassy in coordination withnative institutions, carries out intense advertising campaigns to discourage migration, arguing, precisely, the well-known dangers along the way.
BUT IS THERE ANYTHING POSITIVE IN ALL THIS?
The question is whether all the sacrifice is worth the money. From an economic perspective , the answer is yes.
Salvadorans who managed to settle inthe United States, in addition to breathing a different security environment, find jobs with salaries that they would never find here.
According to the Central Bank,the money they send to their families — known as “family remittances” or “poor dollars” — reaches25 percent of the population. More broadly, these dollars have come to represent up to 24 per cent of theinternal product and thus constitute an important respite for the local economy.
In 2022 alone, El Salvador received USD 7,741.9 million in remittances (3.16% more than 2021), while between January and April 2023 it received USD 2,578.3 million, which means a growth of USD 104.8 million (4.2%) compared to the same period of the year. previous. That figure is higher than exports.
Seen from a popular angle, this volume of remittances has literally changed thelandscape of many towns in the interior of the country. In these places, migrants have built numerous houses that stand out from the rest, somewith Anglo-Saxon designs; In Polorós, in the east of the country, they have built a glass building simulating a skyscraper and, in Intipucá, a small city located a few kilometers from there, everything looksAmerican . Even the streets have English names.
The situation isfavored by the Temporary Protection Program (TPS) granted for several decades by the United States government to 239,000 “cuscatlecos” who arrived in theUnited States irregularly. The last renewal of this program was granted in recent days.
This explains why migration continues unabated. In recent years, in theUnited States, the number of Salvadoran emigrants increased by 86,163 people (5.7%),although, the newly released ambassador in San Salvador William Duncan, says that latelythe number of migrants has decreased by about 40%.Hundred, thanks to the policies that itsdiplomatic representation, promotes in coordination with the local authorities. (End).