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Smugglers Exploit False Rumor of 'New Opportunity'

June 06, 2014 (1 min read)

"Yoselin Ramos had long wanted to trek to the United States to escape the crushing poverty and rising violence in her hometown in Guatemala.  But it wasn't until the 24-year-old heard about a "new opportunity" that she packed a bag and left her home with her 3-year-old son, Yovani, for the treacherous journey north.  Ramos became part of an unprecedented surge of families crossing illegally into the U.S., drawn by reports circulating throughout Central America that parents with children are allowed to stay in the United States indefinitely, according to Guatemalan consular officials and parents who are making these trips.  But these families, U.S. officials say, are getting only half the story. ... "Desperate migrants from Central America may cling to any slim reed of hope.  This false rumor of a 'new opportunity' is leading some to embark on a dangerous journey.  They have no idea what they are facing.  The smugglers are milking this situation for all it's worth," said Dan Kowalski, an immigration attorney in Austin, Texas." - Cindy Carcamo, Los Angeles Times, June 6, 2014.