If 7,000 migrants marching toward the US border can’t break through, perhaps reinforcements will help. Both Fox News and the Associated Press report that a second caravan of illegal immigrants has formed in Honduras and has already crossed into Guatemala. They’re hoping to catch up to the main group:
As the massive migrant caravan pushes toward the southern U.S. border, a second group of about 1,000 people from Honduras is rushing to join the main group — which reportedly has swelled its ranks with several people who’ve already been deported.
The caravan, which has around 5,000 to 7,000 members, was on the move again Monday morning, departing the southern Mexico city of Tapachula. The smaller group trailing it entered Guatemala from Honduras late Sunday, according to the Associated Press.
Some in the second caravan have some experience in getting across the border. It includes a number of deportees, some of whom have been sent home multiple times:
“They catch you, and you try to get back,” said Imner Anthony Fuentes, a 29-year-old who reportedly was deported for the sixth time from the U.S. five months ago. He has a son and a U.S. citizen girlfriend living in Birmingham, Ala., according to the Washington Post.
Fuentes should know; he seems to have little trouble coming across the border, although Fuentes has trouble staying across it. That’s the reason that the border wall has become popular with Americans who want to put an end to the costly post-border revolving door of enforcement. Having thousands of people charging the border won’t change their minds, either. In fact, it might stiffen their resolve and convert some Americans who initially thought a border wall was overkill.
Speaking of overkill, however, it’s possible to overplay that hand too. Militarizing the border could create more headaches than it solves, especially in states that don’t want it. Pete Hegseth says this might be the only option left:
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) October 22, 2018
If the caravans take aim at Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott is likely to call up the National Guard in coordination with the Trump administration. That might not be the case in New Mexico and almost certainly won’t be the case in California, though, and even Doug Ducey in Arizona might need to tread carefully here.
None of that matters as much as what Donald Trump thinks, though. And it looks like he’s agreeing with Hegseth that it’s a “national emergy”:
Trump has “alerted” the Border Patrol and military, but note that he hasn’t ordered the latter to the border — yet, anyway. It may be coming, especially if Trump sees this national “emergy” as an opportunity to fire up his base on immigration in the final 15 days of the midterm cycle.
Mexico’s incoming president has another thought or two about the situation:
Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador suggested Sunday that the United States, Canada and Mexico work out a joint plan for funding development in the poor areas of Central America and southern Mexico.
“In this way we confront the phenomenon of migration, because he who leaves his town does not leave for pleasure but out of necessity,” said Lopez Obrador, who takes office Dec. 1.
We’ve funded development plans in Central and South America in the past, and it hasn’t usually worked out well. The local governments tend to be corrupt, and flowing aid dollars helps incentivize their graft and power grabs. More than a century of Yanqui interventionism in the Western Hemisphere hasn’t made us very popular, in part because of the realpolitik we’ve played and in part because of the Cold War communist politics that continues to play in Latin America. That doesn’t mean we should wash our hands of the problem, but it’s not anywhere as simple as Lopez Obrador suggests.
As much as they resent Yanqui intervention, though, they will like this even less:
In the meantime, we can control our own borders. And we should.