Between walls and sanctuaries
The story starts in McAllen, a city in the South of Texas, where people from El Salvador, Honduras or Guatemala, who cross Rio Grande in boats chartered by coyotes, arrive every day. And from there we develop all the process faced by those who embarked themselves, escaping from their countries in search of a better life. In most of the cases escaping from violence or poverty.
In Texas, the debate on immigration has a key word: the wall. The electoral promise made by President Trump to build a wall along the 3,200 kms that covers the border with Mexico is on everybody’s mouth. In the border counties very few back this idea. En Portada went in search of the opinion of ranchers like Roperto Escoban in Rome or sheriffs like Martin Cuellar in Laredo.
The statements made by President Trump about immigration have bred a movement all across the country: the sanctuary cities. That is why we end in Austin, the Capital’s State and a town that protect the civil rights of immigrants. Other sanctuary cities as New York, Chicago or even all California State show resistance to obey Washington’s orders, where local police officers are entitled to check the legal status of every immigrant and pass that information onto federal authorities. There are sanctuary cities, but also sanctuary universities, restaurants or even churches that offer shelter to undocumented immigrants who fear being expelled. In one of those, we find one of our protagonists, the Guatemalan Hilda Ramirez.