Well, there’s a new caravan forming in Central America. There are already more than a thousand migrants gathered to try and journey to the United States. They hope to claim asylum and get access to our country.
It’s a story you’ve heard many times, but this caravan isn’t quite like the ones you’ve been seeing for the past 10 years.
The New Caravan
While past caravans have mostly formed in Guatemala, the new one is originating in Honduras. It’s still in the so-called Northern Triangle, but the fact that Guatemala isn’t the staging ground is important, and we’ll talk about that fact more in a moment.
The important thing is to know that so far, roughly 1,300 Hondurans and El Salvadorians have gathered to build the caravan. Most of the drive behind the gathering is conflict within the two countries that has lasted for years.
Over the past year in particular, conflict has escalated, and more people than ever are trying to leave the countries. Thus, we see a mass of immigrants on the border —- intending to eventually reach the U.S.
Some Important New Developments
It’s extremely important that we note how this caravan is different from what we’ve seen over the past decade. For starters, it’s much, much smaller. The last caravan to journey north in 2018 was more than 7,000 strong, and plenty of Mexican immigrants joined along the march north. This one is looking to be smaller than 1,500 strong, making it the smallest caravan in some years.
The second major change is that less than 25 percent of the caravan is expected to ever reach the U.S. This is mostly due to President Trump’s policies. His stay in Mexico plan, combined with pressure on the Mexican government, has changed the nature of Central American caravans. Mexico has made it perfectly clear that they have no intention of letting the migrants through.
On top of that, Mexico is pressuring Guatemala to inhibit the migration. Guatemala is not internationally recognized as a safe country for refugees, but despite that, they will be offering asylum to the migrants before letting them through the country to attempt to enter Mexico. This alone is a large difference.
Mexico’s refusal to offer visas to the caravan is far more important. Anyone who wants to file for asylum in Mexico will be allowed to do so, but they will not be given free rein to travel across the country to get to the U.S.
That completely redefines the nature of this caravan. Only asylum cases that are referred from Guatemala or Mexico to the U.S. will be heard by our country. That cuts the numbers down to manageable levels, and it ensures that only legitimate asylum claims will even meet our immigration workers.
As a result, we won’t see border cities swarmed. Dozens won’t die in exposure and disease-ridden makeshift cities while waiting their turn. Most importantly, human trafficking across the southern border has dropped precipitously, and this caravan won’t be an opportunity for it to rise again.
In short, President Trump has found an effective solution to a terrible problem. He has turned Mexican policy into an effective wall, and to top it off, Mexico is paying to secure that southern border. President Trump’s policy has helped everyone involved — the exploited migrants in the caravans most of all. This is a promise kept, and we should all be grateful for it.