Its impact on the election will be over tomorrow but the migrant caravan keeps coming. The Associated Press reports that there has been some disagreement between the caravan organizers and members about which way to go next. Some want to head to Mexico City, which is to the west of their current location, while others want to keep pressing north toward the Texas border. Sunday night they held a vote and the decision was made to go for Mexico City:
In a thundering voice vote Sunday night, about 1,000 migrants at the gymnasium in Cordoba voted to try to make it to Mexico City on Monday, which would be their longest single-day journey yet since the caravan began — 178 miles (286 kilometers) by the shortest route…
It is unclear what part of the U.S. border the caravan will aim for eventually, or how many may splinter off on their own.
Most of the migrants said they remain convinced that traveling as a large mass is their best hope for reaching the U.S. The migrants generally say they are fleeing rampant poverty, gang violence and political instability primarily in the Central American countries of Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua.
If you’re not clear on the geography, the Center for Immigration Studies has a map tracking the caravan’s progress. If they go for the nearest border crossing in McAllen, Texas, the group is about halfway to its destination. There are also two smaller caravans of about 1,000 people each following the lead group. The lead group had as many as 7,000 members a week or two ago but that number has declined as more than 2,500 individuals have agreed to apply for asylum in Mexico or seek a ride back to Honduras. It’s not clear if the lead caravan plans to wait for the smaller groups to catch up to them in Mexico City.
Today the Guardian published a 13-minute video focusing on a few individuals in the group. Everyone says some combination of the same thing about why they left Honduras: There’s no work, there’s no future, and there’s lots of gang violence.
The clip clearly shows Mexican authorities making some effort to divert the caravan, either to resettlement in Mexico or back home, but for most people, the offer isn’t appealing. What they want is to make it to the United States and by sticking together and using protest tactics, they continue to get their way. As one woman featured in this clip says after a showdown with Mexican police, “They can’t stop so many people.” She may be right for now but eventually, the caravan is going to stop being treated as a group and start being treated as individuals, many of whom are not eligible for asylum in the United States.