Mexico thwarts a migrant caravan for us

With the hot months of summer coming to an end, it’s caravan season in Mexico again. And we’re not talking about people vacationing in recreational vehicles. Caravans of Central American migrants are forming up in Honduras and Guatemala to start their annual mass migrations north in hopes of breaching the border of the United States. But the first group of the season, more than 2,000 strong, didn’t make it very far. This time they were stopped by Mexican federal troops, with more than half of them being detained.

Mexican authorities on Saturday thwarted the latest caravan of migrants attempting to head north from southern Mexico with the hope of reaching the United States.

Some 2,000 migrants from various nations — including Central American and African countries, Haiti and Cuba — set off on foot in the predawn hours from the southern Mexican city of Tapachula…

On Saturday, the northbound caravan met a phalanx of Mexican authorities, including National Guard and federal police units along the highway at a point about 25 miles north of Tapachula. The enforcement presence prompted almost half the caravan members — including many women and children — to surrender to Mexican immigration authorities.

This is the result of the deal that the White House cut with Mexico. We remain happy to have productive trade deals with them and provide them with aid, but we require their cooperation in matters of immigration enforcement. This successful intervention can and should become the new normal.

The detained migrants will be offered the opportunity to apply for asylum in Mexico if they wish according to Mexican government officials. This plays into the idea of Mexico being an unofficial safe third country. Those who don’t qualify will be returned to their countries of origin.

As for the other half of the caravan that wasn’t detained, some scattered to look for other routes north and some turned back and headed south. This may be one of the more important aspects of the story if they go home and tell everyone else what happened. If the word gets out in Guatemala and Honduras that the caravans can no longer travel freely all the way to the American border, people will be far less likely to sign up for them. It won’t stop all efforts at illegal immigration, but if it significantly slows the flow we may gain the time we need to catch our breath and being clearing some of the backlog in our immigration courts.

Well done, AMLO. Keep up the good work.