The Caravan


Written by Matthew Mendez, Journalist

Tensions in the United States of America escalate greatly as the Central American migrant caravan proceeds towards the U.S.- Mexican Border. Many on the conservative wing of the U.S. population call for tightened border security and an unflinching opposition towards any illegal entry at the border. The more liberal portion of the country though, remains unusually silent, a significant difference from reactions to earlier migrant crises. Whatever the case may be, it remains imperative to treat such a precarious migrant crisis with caution.

The Central American migrant caravan first began its journey in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. There, thousands of Central Americans – mostly Hondurans – escaping from unemployment, violence, and a recent drought rallied with the goal of reaching the United States of America. The Mexican government estimated that only about 4,000 migrants comprise the caravan, while those aiding the caravan claim as many as 10,000. To many Central American refugees, the caravan offered (and still offers) protection against the many dangers associated with traveling through the rough terrain of Mexico and Central America – a route where smuggling, kidnapping, disease, and death prove all too common. Many migrants though, still suffer from disease, dehydration, and other ailments. Kidnappings have also occurred, proving that numbers do not always provide adequate safety.

The fleeing Central Americans recieved a mixed response during the Mexican portion of their journey. On certain occasions, migrants have been met with hostility and sometimes even outright aggression from Mexican authorities. However, the people of Mexico proved mostly welcoming to the Central Americans. Towns such as Huixtla and Mapastepec in Southern Mexico greeted the migrants with food, water, accommodations, job opportunities, and even celebrations. Despite a relatively good welcome, the migrants are faced with even more challenges to come. In order to make it to the United States, many of the migrants will have to travel through the harsh deserts of Northern Mexico, where they could encounter hostile drug cartels, dehydration, a lack of food, and soaring temperatures.

Upon their inevitable arrival at the U.S.- Mexican border, the Central American migrant caravan will be faced with its most daunting challenge yet – successfully entering the United States. Many of the migrants intend on applying for asylum instead of crossing the border illegally. However, the Trump administration has stated that they do not intend on providing the Central American refugees with asylum. Trump also promises to halt the caravan’s advancement with the deployment of 15,000 military personnel to aid the already sizable Border Patrol agency. Such action, he claims, is merited by claims that radical Islamists and dangerous criminals have somehow infiltrated the migrant caravan – a claim which has been several times disproved. As a result of such hostility, the migrants may be forced to cross illegally after all.

As previously stated, the migrants’ eventual arrival at the U.S.- Mexican border must be treated with caution in order to avoid a possible catastrophe. The military and border patrol should only serve to maintain order, not repel thousands of desperate human beings from achieving their goals of a better life. It is truly imperative that the United States, as a country of immigrants, provide a way for our Central American brothers and sisters to easier achieve their dreams of a better life, whether it be through granting asylum or at least treating them as fellow humans, not as criminal aliens.