"Though the overall number of arrests along the southern U.S. border has fallen near its lowest point in 40 years, there has been a surge of unlawful newcomers from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador since 2011."
It is 1,862 miles from here to the kitchens and lawns of Houston. The route through Mexico is more dangerous than ever. And if Santos Arias somehow manages to reach the U.S. border without getting arrested, kidnapped, robbed, maimed, beaten or killed along the way, chances are he'll be deported and have to start all over again.
No matter. Arias, 21, is going anyway.
"I know the risks," said Arias, who earns $50 a week hawking cellphone accessories and airtime minutes in the street. "Anything is better than here."
Desperate, daring and acutely aware of the prosperity gap between here and "Los United," young Central Americans like Arias are the future of illegal immigration to the United States.