ARRIAGA, Mexico – José Vallecillo has a good-paying job welding steel freight containers waiting for him in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey, at a factory where he’s worked before and the owner invited him to return.
But getting there has proved much harder than the 41-year-old metalworker from Las Manos, Honduras expected.
Vallecillo, wife Sandra and 4-year-old daughter Brittany have endured a fruitless wait for visas, spent all their money on food and transportation, and escaped a police raid in which hundreds were arrested and hidden out in the countryside.
The family is a prime example of how Mexico’s crackdown on migration is not cutting off the flow of Central Americans, but rather forcing migrants into the shadows, despite government assurances that the central thrust of its policy is to protect them.
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