Katie Orlinsky

Visual Storyteller & Contributing Photographer
    
Children do not migrate, they flee
Location: North America
Nationality: American
Biography: Katie Orlinsky was born and raised in New York City and began her career as a photographer thirteen years ago. She has photographed all over the world documenting everything from conflict and social issues to wildlife and sports. For the past... read on
Public Story
Children do not migrate, they flee
Credits: katie orlinsky
Updated: 04/25/17

Children Do Not Migrate, They Flee

Over the summer, when a massive influx of unaccompanied children streamed across the U.S.-Mexican border, it sparked a political crisis, and a heated debate about the surge's causes. Politicians critical of the Obama administration's immigration policies argued that the children were coming merely for economic reasons (that is, simply to take American jobs), rather than to escape war and gang violence. But few have bothered to look closely at the economic roots of Central America's epidemic of violence.

In rural parts of Guatemala poverty has become life-threatening, such as the town of Quetzaltenango, where as much as 93 percent of the population lives in poverty. Children rarely attend school, forced instead to work from as young as six years old. This poverty, the experts say, is the true root of Central America's violence surge, and the desperate surge of children away from their families and toward the only place they think they can have a future. As one Guatemalan migrant shelter official said, "Children do not migrate, they flee."

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By Katie Orlinsky —

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By Katie Orlinsky — The Yupik village of Newtok in western Alaska, population 380, is sinking as the permafrost beneath it thaws. Erosion has already wiped out nearly..
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By Katie Orlinsky — "Dzud" is the Mongolian word for a winter famine. This crisis occurs when extremely cold winter weather leads to massive livestock..
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By Katie Orlinsky — In the largely indigenous communities in and around the town of Juchitán in the far reaches of the southern state of Oaxaca, Mexico, the world is..
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By Katie Orlinsky — Oaxaca is Mexico's second poorest state, with the country's largest indigenous population and a long history of popular uprising. In May 2006 close..
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By Katie Orlinsky — Mexican professional wrestling, known as Lucha libre, is more acrobatic and theatrical than U.S. pro wrestling. Wrestlers, known as luchadores, are..
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By Katie Orlinsky — In April 2010 I spent a week wandering around Jerusalem, from the Palestinian neighborhoods of east Jerusalem to the ultra-Orthodox enclave of Mea..
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By Katie Orlinsky — The Gaza Strip, a sliver of land only 360 square kilometers, contains roughly 1.4 million people, making it one of the world's most densely..
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By Katie Orlinsky — An 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit Chile at 3:34 a.m. on February 27 2010. Only a little over a month after the earthquake in Haiti, the disaster in..
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By Katie Orlinsky — Life on the Tracks: Central American Migration in Mexico Thousands of undocumented Central American migrants journey across Mexico every year,..
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By Katie Orlinsky — The Women's War in Mali Mali has long been known for both its rich ancient Islamic history, and its modern vibrant culture. But over the past..
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By Katie Orlinsky — The Aqualillies are an underwater dance company that has merged the art of ballet with the athleticism of synchronized swimming. Some of the..
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By Katie Orlinsky — At the women’s prison of Ciudad Juarez, an estimated 80 percent of the inmates are there for narcotics-related crimes. The number of women in..
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Guerrero Vigilantes

By Katie Orlinsky — Guerrero Vigilantes Over the past four years towns across Guerrero, Mexico have formed vigilante police groups, known as auto-defensas, in an..
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Innocence Assassinated: Living in Mexico's Drug War

By Katie Orlinsky — Innocence Assassinated: Living in Mexico's Drug War In 2006, newly elected Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared war on  the drug..
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