Why are thousands of Central Americans marching toward our southern border, despite the presidential tweets and now U.S. troops arrayed against them? Like previous generations of migrants, some are seeking economic opportunity. But many are trying to cross because they are fleeing violence so severe that they feel they have no choice. Their very public group effort is an attempt to evade the rape, kidnapping and extortion by smugglers that commonly beset undocumented migrants who cross Mexico on solitary journeys.

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This article was originally published by the Wall Street Journal.