As day broke on Sunday October 21st, a massive caravan consisting of roughly 10,000 Central American migrants began their march for the United States. Originating in Honduras, the caravan made its way through Guatemala before reaching the Suchiate river, the main crossing location for migrants passing through Mexico on their trek to enter America illegally. After the processing pace of the Mexican Officials was found slow and inefficient the masses took to the water, swimming across the river separating Guatemala and Mexico. While 700 police were dispatched to the Mexican Guatemalan border, upon clambering out of the river bed and stepping foot in Mexico the caravan was met with no resistance by the Mexican police, evidently only helping to control the inflow upon the bridge which is the authorized crossing method between the countries. Not only was law enforcement nonexistent, but once in Mexico water, medical aid, and shelter was provided to the migrants.
Mexico has announced that illegal entry from Guatemala will not be tolerated. Passports or visas will be required, but those who claim to be seeking asylum will not be deported. In such cases aid will be sought from the United Nations refugee agency claiming the people are escaping on terms of “well-founded fear of persecution because of race, religion, nationality, social group or political opinion.” Those seeking refuge due to unemployment, crime, or violence will be denied aid. This condition makes the vast majority of the caravan ineligible for aid from the UN, yet agents are still working with Mexican officials to process immigrants and provided medical care food and shelter.
For those attempting to enter Mexico under asylum status, the wait can take up to ninety days before potential placement in Mexico or the United States. Most of the people in this situation will choose to continue their attempts at illegal entry into the United States rather than wait for asylum that may or may not be granted. With the enormous influx many claims for asylum will be denied causing further attempts at illegal entrance into the United States. President Trump has demanded that Mexico stop this caravan by threatening to take away financial aid to Mexico, place military force at the border, and effectively close the border to trade, but fearing the overwhelm of yet more people to support on their limited supplies in food pantries and shelters Mexico has not yet taken effective steps in stopping caravan movement. If President Trump is serious in his threats though, Mexico may pay a much higher price in allowing the caravan to continue. With nearly one million in commerce trade every day, such a move would be devastating to Mexico.
How serious can we expect the president’s terms to be? Considering his efforts are to protect America from a group containing people who have been previously deported from America as well as people from Middle Eastern countries, the threat is not to be taken lightly. Depicted by the media and democrats as a mass of people seeking refuge and opportunities for better lives, President Trump has made clear his contrasting view stating that hidden behind the mothers and children “You are going to find MS-13, you’re going to find Middle Easterners.” Supported by the Department of Homeland Security which affirmed the presence of immigrants from Middle Eastern countries, the president’s claims have been given a hold. Strong support has also been given from Vice President Pence’s disclosure on recent communication with the president of Honduras, whom reportedly claims the caravan is marching not for the American Dream, but rather as a front to challenge the American border, the strength of American authority, and the unity between the people within its territory. With the midterm drawing nearer we can expect to see which side will prevail soon enough.