One might think that colonias are just communities of immigrants living in the United States illegally, but most colonia residents are full-fledged American citizens. As citizens and taxpayers, residents demand and deserve the same basic government services as everyone else.
This begs the question: How does the United States, one of the richest countries in the world, allow third-world shantytowns to exist within its borders and house its citizens?
Colonias are communities usually built near the U.S.-Mexico border by poor Hispanic immigrants. For the federal government, the defining element of a colonia is that it has no access to clean water. These communities are the result of Texas’s light regulatory system combined with the construction of colonias on cheap, unused land outside of established city limits.
Colonia land is so cheap partly because it is prone to flooding. Children often have trouble attending school because they cannot reach school buses after overnight thunderstorms flood the streets near their houses. This further deprives families of education as a path out of poverty.