SPRING VALLEY, N.Y. (AP) — Kléver Ortega and Cristina Lema had a good life until the economy was crippled by Covid-19.
Ortega was a house-painting contractor and was working until demand dried up during the pandemic. The couple’s conduct is conducted by a pair of food stands. “Then even those pandemics hit,” Lerna said.
When unemployment, instability and crime rose, they decided to leave US followed by many friends, family and acquaintances.
We heard in the street: “Leaving. Look who else has left their businesses and gone,” said Motto.
Ecuadorian – have long been known for remarkably low crime rates, despite sitting in the heart of South America’s cocaine – it earthquake-prone and it was struggling financiallyfighting with a greater force and losing in numbers. Like Ortega and Lema, many to the US; A number of Ecuadorians are detained near the border with Mexico.
The Biden administration introduced the measures in January he reduced sharply US border crossings have been attacked by illegal migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela and managed to take them back to Mexico. Migrants from Ecuador and some other countries do not face the same barriers, and are generally allowed to stay in the US while they pursue asylum — a minute part of our nature. No one advice
___ This is part of an occasional series on how the United States has become the world’s top destination for asylum seekers. ___
It can be a dangerous journey. In February, bus crash in Panama They killed dozens of migrants, many from Ecuador, who fell from the mountain after crossing the famous Darien Gap from Colombia. And on Monday, a fire broke out at a detention center in Ciudad Juarez. at least 39 migrants were killed; almost all of Guatemala, Honduras, Venezuela and El Salvador.
The administration will be able to send all migrants to Mexico if they arrive at the US border through that country, cross illegally and do not qualify for vacations. That proposal, although almost certain to face legal challenges, could be a serious deterrent for Ecuadorians and other non-Mexicans.
in Ecuador The economy is further damaged by government cutbacks. The financial woes first arose in minor crimes by those who could not get by. From time to time, violent crime also emerged – worsened by the country’s proximity to the cocaine trade.
“It’s gotten so bad that you can’t walk down the street peacefully,” Ortega said at his new family apartment in Spring Valley, New York, where they arrived last year.
Ecuadorians dominated the mix of migrants detained by Mexico for the first time in January, according to the Washington Office on Latin America. Reports from Mexico of migrants detained around the border provide some of the best information on their country of origin relative to the US — typically a mix of Mexicans, Venezuelans and Central Americans.
On the U.S. side, Ecuadorean officials stopped 12,000 people at the border in November, about triple the number three months earlier and nearly 20 more than the same number last year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection figures show.
Like many migrants, the Ecuadorians followed the example of the first movers to establish a settlement. And many of the Ecuadorian families are migrating to the New York region. CBP figures show that families with children have grown to about 60% of arrivals, up from 15% in fiscal year 2020.
The relative ease of today’s migration is fueling what is increasing, said Diana Loja, the practice of Sleepy Heaven for the Latino Community.
“It used to take months here. Now it takes days,” he told the Associated Press as he drove through Sleep Coelen, pointing to a house rented by Ecuadorians. Half of the village’s 100,000 residents are Latino, with the majority hailing from Ecuador, according to census data.
By some estimates, Sleepy Coelen — about an hour from midtown Manhattan — has the most Ecuadorians per capita in the US.
In the valley near Spring, Ortega and Lema live in an apartment. Last May they took 26 days to travel from Quito to New York. They remember nearly drowning in a river in Nicaragua, a mother and daughter struggling to survive on a raft made of empty plastic bottles. Today, Ortega does repair work at a local pizzeria. Slogan makes potatoes, chicken and other restaurant food.
Recently, Loja said, Ecuadorians are considering their migration to follow the growing population of people in the New York region: “they are starting to see their neighbors, their friends, their families.”
As many Ecuadorian migrants have stayed close to the immigration rules that allow them to travel to the US for up to a year, some 45,000 Ecuadorians have traveled to Nicaragua, which is not required for Ecuadorian immigrants. Mexico was also an easy destination for Ecuadorians until September 2021.
Ortega and Lema said they started their journey by paying a net of $8,500 a person and tried to travel to Nicaragua, but were turned away because they did not have the correct documents. The network flew them to Panama, where they boarded businesses in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico. They crossed the Rio Grande into the United States and took a bus to New York.
Ortega and Lema plan to apply for asylum with their 7-year-old daughter, Sofia, in federal court in Manhattan in June.
The factors that drive them to the US will drive thousands more northern Ecuadorians, although some in Mexico are waiting for the slowest US migration-rule tightening pass, said Dr. Fredy Rivera, security analyst at the Latin American Social School. in Quito
“A lot of people are still in Mexico,” he said of CBP’s figures on the dip in recent months from highs in recent memory. “It’s time.”
For Ortega, his journey will pay off when his daughter has a better life than the one in Ecuador, where the family sees no sign that things will improve at any time.
“This is my dream, my dream,” he said, “to have her education here. That’s how we came here.”
Solano is reported to be from Quito, Ecuador. Elliot Spagat in San Diego contributed to this report.