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Progress of the Migrant Caravan

Kavya Weaver '20, News Editor

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Disclaimer: This is a developing story. Information presented in this article may not be current by the time of publication.

In early October, a group of migrants formed a caravan in Honduras and set out on a 2,500 mile long journey to the U.S. border. Originally consisting of a group of about 200 Hondurans, the caravan grew vastly as the group made its way through Central America, and it now numbers around 7,000 people. The members of the caravan, who are mostly from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, are fleeing violence, persecution, and poverty in their home countries in search of a better life and asylum in the United States. When the caravan reached the Guatemala-Mexico border, they were met by Mexican law enforcement officers who initially resisted the migrants’ attempts to cross into Mexico. However, the officers eventually admitted the caravan, and the migrants have been received fairly positively by Mexicans, many of whom offered them food, shelter, and water. The U.S. has not shared in this hospitality, and President Donald Trump has been at the forefront of efforts to discourage migrants from trying to enter the United States. Despite threats from the U.S. government, the caravan continued their steady journey and reached the U.S. border city of Tijuana in late November. The migrants are currently staying in a makeshift shelter, but Tijuana officials report that the city does not have enough resources to host the caravan long-term. Long before they reached the border, President Trump declared his resistant stance against the migrants, alleging that “many gang members and some very bad people are mixed into the caravan” and promising that “our military is waiting for you” via Twitter. In October, the president deployed over 5,000 active military troops to the southern border to resist migrant entry. Since then, over 8,000 troops have been stationed to prevent the migrants from crossing the border. With the news that the caravan reached the border, President Trump also threatened to close the entire southern border and has announced that migrants must stay in Mexico while their asylum claims go through  U.S. courts. This proposed procedure deviates from current U.S. immigration policy which allows migrants to stay in the U.S. while the courts process their asylum requests. Additionally, Mexico’s government has not agreed to this procedural change. In response, hundreds of migrants met at the border to protest the U.S.’s lack of efficiency in processing their asylum claims. The protest quickly escalated as crowds of migrants frantically rushed the border, erupting into chaos as U.S. border agents fired tear gas at the crowd. Most of the migrants are still committed to their original plan of seeking asylum in the U.S., but others are pursuing residence in Mexico. Those hoping to one day live in the United States face a challenging and long process. Although the U.S. is legally obligated to hear asylum claims from migrants who say they are in danger in their home countries, the immigration policy under the Trump administration makes it very difficult for a migrant to actually be accepted into the country. The migrants who formed this caravan may have just finished an arduous 2,500 mile trek, but they still have a long, grueling road ahead of them in their quest for safety and opportunity.

 

Sources Cited:

Kinosian, Sarah, and Joshua Partlow. “U.S. Closes Major Crossing as Caravan Migrants Mass at

Border in Mexico.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 26 Nov. 2018,

www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/us-closes-major-crossing-as-caravan-migr

ants-mass-at-border-in-mexico/2018/11/25/f94aabe0-f0ea-11e8-99c2-cfca6fcf610c_story.

html?utm_term=.726a6de522d9.

“Migrant Caravan: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?” BBC News, BBC, 21 Nov. 2018,

www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-45951782.

Semple, Kirk. “What Is the Migrant Caravan and Why Does Trump Care?” The New York Times,

The New York Times, 18 Oct. 2018,

www.nytimes.com/2018/10/18/world/americas/trump-migrant-caravan.html.

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Progress of the Migrant Caravan