“It’s basically a ghost town… almost the entire town has migrated to the United States.”
Guatemala is one of the poorest countries in the world, with nearly 60% of the population living below the poverty line. Nearly a quarter of all people live under extreme poverty.
So how and why are luxury homes popping up in a nearly deserted and desperately poor town in northern Guatemala? The answer could be traced back to an immigration loophole that’s allowing this mass exodus to the United States to take place.
“All of these nice houses are built with remittances, they’re built with money sent back from the United States. From people who have migrated for economic reasons.”
“This is an incredibly safe town. There has not been a murder in this town since the civil war ended in 1982,” Holton explained. “They’re not migrating because they’re being persecuted by the government. They’re not migrating because they’re being threatened by the gangs. There are no gangs here. They are migrating for economic reasons and that means they don’t have an asylum claim.”
So how did they get into the United States? “There’s a loophole that they have found and exploited,” Holton said. This particular village is comprised mostly of descendants from indigenous people and speak an ancient Mayan dialect called Chuj. There are several layers to this loophole, but the main one includes telling the agents processing the asylum claim that they don’t speak Spanish or English. This, apparently, allowed them entry into the country.
Holton explains the process, which has thankfully has since been clamped down on, which has led to the town being mostly empty while those who made it to America continue sending money back to Guatemala to build large homes.
For more video news from a Christian perspective follow Faithwire on YouTube HERE.