We haven’t been seeing nearly as many migrant caravan stories in the news this winter as compared to the same time one year ago. And there’s a reason for that. It’s because there haven’t been as many migrant caravans, and the ones that did manage to form up haven’t made it very far past Mexico’s southern border. When asked to comment on this trend yesterday, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) predicted that there would almost certainly be more caravans, but he sees them growing smaller and less frequent. (Associated Press)
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Friday that he expects more caravans of Central American migrants and asylum seekers to emerge, but he sees the phenomenon which became a political football in the United States in recent years as waning.
A week after armored National Guard troops and immigration agents broke up what was left of the most recent caravan in southern Mexico, loading men, women and children onto buses for likely deportation, López Obrador suggested that fewer will come in future groups.
“Surely they are organizing other caravans. … Only each time they have fewer migrants,” he said. “There is more and more information.”
We already saw how the last caravan fared at Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala. When they arrived at a bridge, the National Guard turned them back. When they attempted to wade across the river, the Guard once again confronted them, showing admirable restraint until some of the aliens attempted to rush their lines. That’s when the riot shields and tear gas came out. A relative few decided to apply for asylum there under Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy, but most were given plane or bus rides back to their home country.
AMLO seems to be correct about the caravans “waning.” The latest contingent to organize in Honduras had barely thirty people show up to join. That’s a far cry from the thousands or even tens of thousands that banded together in 2017 through 2019.
The reason for that is likely just as AMLO described it. In the last section of his quoted text above, he referred to the fact that there is “more and more information.” What he meant by that is the work being done in both Guatemala and Honduras to inform potential migrants that conditions have changed. Previously, groups such as Pueblo Sin Fronteras in San Francisco have had activists on the ground in those countries, telling people that Mexico would allow them to pass through and advising them on how to try to claim asylum at the US border where they would be released to the interior of America.
Now the word is being spread that such tales are fabrications. People considering making the journey are learning that Mexico will be turning them away at the border or, at best, offering asylum to qualified applicants, but they will be moving to Mexico, not America. And those who do somehow make it to the United States border will be awaiting their day in court on the Mexican side of the border, not freely roaming around and disappearing into America. With the more tempting options taken off the table, it appears that most who were considering an illegal run for the American border are reconsidering.
AMLO really deserves a lot of credit for the decreased traffic we’ve been seeing on our southern border. He has successfully implemented the Remain in Mexico policy worked out with Donald Trump and his National Guard has been getting the job done when groups of migrants make the attempt. AMLO was elected on a far more liberal platform, but he’s been surprisingly strong on illegal immigration issues. In return, he’s already been rewarded with more generous trade deals and an improved relationship with the White House. This should continue for as long as he sticks to these policies.