Here comes the next caravan

Either they don’t get much news out of the United States and Mexico down in Central America or they don’t pay much attention to it if they do. Mexican officials are currently heading to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala to talk to the organizers of yet another migrant caravan that’s forming up to head north toward the United States. Given the number of people who are currently lined up and waiting for weeks or months for an asylum hearing, dumping hundreds or thousands more into the queue is only going to inflame matters further. (Reuters)

Mexican authorities will meet with Central American officials to prepare for the arrival of a planned new caravan of migrants headed to the United States next week.

The head of Mexico’s immigration office, Tonatiuh Guillen, left on Wednesday on a trip to El Salvador and Honduras to meet with his counterparts and other authorities, said Interior Ministry spokesman Hector Gandini.

Mexico hopes to discourage a mass exodus from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, and wants Central Americans who decide to migrate north to do so in an orderly way and through legal ports of entry.

This is shaping up to be the first serious test of AMLO’s new government and their resolve to put an end to mass illegal immigration. Just this week, Mexican officials announced that they were deploying large numbers of federal troops to nearly 300 common border crossing points in an effort to stem the tide. But if this new caravan is anywhere near the size of the last one they could easily overwhelm the border security forces.

Mexico’s Interior Ministry spokesman announced that anyone attempting to enter the country illegally will be deported, but those who wish to present themselves at a designated point of entry and request legal entry would have their requests heard fairly. If the entire caravan shows up at a single POE that might be possible, but if they scatter along the border as the last group did, their prospects for success seem limited at best.

It seems as if the real problem here is not with the governments of Mexico or the United States, but with Guatemala and Honduras. They don’t seem to be interested in stopping this mass exodus and may possibly even be encouraging it. They’re also unwilling or unable to get a handle on the gang violence and cartels that effectively have more control of those countries than the elected governments do. We may be at the point where even threatening to cut off foreign aid to them would be ineffective.

If anyone has a good suggestion as to how we get this situation under control I’d love to hear it. The Organization of American States (OAS) hasn’t proven effective at all, though they would seem to be the logical choice to tackle the problem. Absent some new approach, there’s really not much left to do aside from kicking ourselves into gear and getting that wall built a lot faster.