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‘Migrant Caravan’ May Become a Serious Headache for Trump

Photo: BBC

The first members of a large group of migrants travelling through Mexico towards the United States have arrived in the capital, Mexico City.

About 450 people decided to stay in the Mexican capital until the other members of the caravan will join them. It should be noted that Mexico City is expected to be the place where the caravan may divide and some may decide to stay, or move towards the US borders or to return to their countries of origin.

It should be noted that the first and the largest group, mainly comprised of Honduran migrants rushed across the border toward Mexico on October 19, after which they were followed by other migrant groups. According to Mexican authorities, the number of migrants in the country is over 5,000. Four thousand of them are in Veracruz. Most migrants say people run away from poverty, unemployment, and political instability that exist in Honduras, Guatemala, Salvador and Nicaragua.

However, it should be noted that the migrant caravan won’t be welcomed by the US authorities. Touching upon the issue of the migrant caravan US President Donald Trump not only warned Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, that their governments could face their funds being cut if they allowed the migrants to pass through their countries, but also threatened that the US military is waiting for the migrant caravan heading for America’s borders. “We have our military on the border. And I noticed all that beautiful barbed wire going up today, barbed wire used properly can be a beautiful sight,” Trump said.

Pentagon, in its turn, stated that the soldiers deployed on the border with Mexico will operate within the law and will even apply weapons. However, after facing a strong criticism, Trump rushed to some extent alleviate the situation by declaring that US military would not fire towards the migrant caravan, but would arrest them if they tried to cross the borders illegally.

At the same time, a new plan for asylum seekers may be enacted  this week. According to the plan, any migrant who do enter the country, would be housed in sprawling tent cities while their cases are processed.

It should be noted that this unexpected visit of migrant caravan at first glance creates an explosive situation for the US authorities. On one hand if Trump decides to make some concessions, the Republicans will be blamed inside the country for failure to fulfill their promise to combat illegal migration. On the other hand, if migrants try to cross the border and if it results in human losses, Trump will be blamed for cruelty all over the world.

Taking into account the explosive situation, Trump tries to prevent the entry of migrants also by putting pressure on the Mexican authorities. By the way, there is already some progress in this direction. According to Mexican authorities, in recent weeks, 2,779 migrants have applied for refugee status, and about 500 people have applied to return to their countries of origin.