People view immigration through many different lenses. As the son of a Cuban immigrant who has spent much of my time volunteering with newly arriving immigrants, I am often puzzled by those who do not understand why immigrants travel to America. While I understand and respect various opinions on the topic, I encourage people to take a rational perspective before judging illegal immigrants.
Ignoring moving costs, economics tell us that people will switch between locations until each location has the same utility. According the CIA World Factbook, the GDP per capita in 2014 was $4,700 in Honduras, $8,000 in El Salvador, and $7,500 in Guatemala. Comparatively, the GDP per capita in 2014 in the United States was $54,800. Looking at another statistic, Honduras was named the murder capital of the world, with 90.4 homicides per 100,000 people in 2012, according to a United Nations study. El Salvador came in fourth, with 41.2 homicides per 100,000 people, closely followed by Guatemala, which came in fifth with 39.9 homicides per 100,000 people. Comparatively, the homicide rate in the United States is 5 per 100,000 people.
I would encourage people to take a step back and think before judging illegal immigrants. After all, economics tells us that we are all utility maximizing individuals.