In the United States, immigration remains a contentious hot-button issue. The media tends to examine the issue at large but for the most part seems less interested in examining the toll that the migrant caravans and its aftermath take on those who chose to be a part of them. While the caravans have provided a degree of safety for migrants, they have had the unintended consequence of perpetuating a narrative that casts immigration in a negative light. In the public discourse, the individual voices of migrants has been drowned out by the media that has a tendency to characterise the caravans in broad strokes rather than examine the myriad circumstances that have brought them about.
Exodus Stories will give a voice to these vulnerable and voiceless individuals who have pinned their hopes on the opportunities that might await them in the United States. It focuses its attention on the struggles, beliefs and aspirations of the human beings at the heart of the issue.
With intimate access, the film offers a raw look at the migrant caravans and the dangerous and difficult 2,600 mile journey travelling through Mexico where cartels, human traffickers, rape, and kidnappying are the norm.
WHY ARE THEY FLEEING?
Central America is in serious humanitarian crisis, it’s Northern Triangle of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras rank among the most violent countries in the world. El Salvador and Honduras both have the highest murder rates in the world. In 2017 the corruption, violent crime, and drug trafficking common in Central America had caused over 130,500 migrants to seek asylum.
WHY THE CARAVAN?
The journey through Central America to the border between Mexico and the U.S is a dangerous one. The concept of safety in numbers made of traveling in a caravan the most appealing option for many. The caravan as we know it, began on October 12, 2018 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. It began as just a few Honduran people but as word spread on social media, hundreds joined. By October 15 they had reached Guatemala-Honduras Border. By this point there were some 1,500 people and in the time it took to cross Guatemala and reach Tijuana and the Mexican border, the caravan grew to roughly 8,000 people. The sheer number of people on the caravan earned it comparisons to the biblical mass migration led by Moses and the title of Exodus.
Concurrent with the surge of caravan migration originating in Central America, The United States has failed to provide enough resources to adequately attend to the number of asylum claims. For some of the asylum seekers the process has life or death ramifications as being sent back to their country of origin would but them in mortal danger. However, these desperate individuals are treated like they have done something wrong and are detained while they await their hearing. Some of the facilities where the immigrants are detained are often run by private corrections corporations that literally profit from the migrants confinement. The film will delve into the deep running flaws of an asylum system that can leave many in limbo for months on end simply because there are too many cases to process.