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Cyndy Etler @cdetler
, 12 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
1) A friend posted that he wanted facts to understand why these immigrants claim to be seeking asylum. Said he understood them to be coming to the U.S. seeking more opportunities. As a teacher of immigrants, I had facts to offer. Please read & RT #ImmigrantChildren #Immigration
2) Teens who make it across the border are literally carved up. Chunks of their bodies gone, knifed from their flesh, for refusing to join gangs. Gangs kill their siblings, to make clear they'll do it, then force a gun into kid's hand. "You kill this person, or we kill you."
3) Kid says no, gets chunk knifed out of their body, & gets told, "We'll be back to give you another chance to use this gun. Think hard." Kid doesn't want to kill; kid doesn't want to BE killed, so kid finds a way to get across the border & seek asylum.
4) Before anybody tries to shift the focus to, "SEE? They ARE gangsters & murderers!" understand this.

A: There are no jobs in Central America, in Mexico, that pay an average citizen ANY kind of wage.
5) B: The jobs that DO exist are picking produce, for pennies a day, for American companies like Dole, who turn around & sell the fruit at exorbitant US grocery store prices.
6) C: The drug cartels exist to sell drugs to us. To American citizens. We demand, they supply. WE are the ones suporting the cartels that are slicing & dicing kids.
7) D: There's a whole history of US involvment in Latin American politics that contributes to this dynamic...but you don't know about it, because American Exceptionalism is what's taught in US history classes. Find reliable, unbiased sources. Do the research.
8) E: Those desperate enough for money to survive, & know attempting to get legal asylum in the "gimme your poor, huddled masses" spot is a farce, resort to THAT work. It's that or be killed. Or watch your child get killed. Or find a family member's severed head outside the gate.
9) F: Not a word of this is speculation. It's not even based in research. It's the lived experience of people close to me. I've seen the rough stitched flesh. I've seen the pictures of my students next to tiny siblings in coffins.
10) Two takeaways.

1: the immigrants who MAKE it here are the ones willing to risk everything, including their precious plastic crucifix, including their children, to NOT deal in drugs and violence.
11) 2: the underlying causes to the violence they're trying to escape is a trail of blood & culpability that traces right back to the "United" States.
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