As we discussed here yesterday, the Honduran caravan has a daunting, 1,000-mile journey ahead of them if they plan to reach the Texas border. (Much further if they decide to try for the Tijuana crossing.) Traveling on foot, that will take the better part of two months under the most optimistic circumstances. So what can the caravan organizers do about it? Their latest plan is to demand that the Mexican government provide transportation for all four thousand of them, at least as far as Mexico City. (Associated Press)
The migrant caravan slowly advancing through southern Mexico is demanding the Mexican government help its 4,000 participants reach Mexico City even as a smaller group of Central Americans entered the country, presumably with the intention of joining it.
The Mexican government has shown no inclination to assist, however, with the exception of its migrant protection agency giving some of the caravan’s stragglers rides to the next town over the weekend.
Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a group supporting the caravan, has said it hopes to hold meetings in Mexico City with federal lawmakers and authorities as well as representatives of the incoming government to discuss migrants’ rights and the caravan’s future.
Asking is one thing but receiving is another. While Mexico still isn’t doing as much as they could to stop the caravan entirely, they’re also not going out of their way to assist them in reaching the American border. Even if they wanted to, arranging transportation across the country for that many (non-paying) passengers on short notice is no easy feat.
This lack of transportation is actually having a beneficial effect in terms of protecting our border. The Associated Press has reporters embedded with the caravan and they’re reporting that many of the migrants have grown weary of the long journey. Significant numbers of them have dropped out, either heading back home or deciding to take Mexico up on their offer and apply for asylum or permanent residence there. At this point, the caravan’s numbers have been cut nearly in half from just a week earlier.
If they somehow succeed in convincing the government to provide transportation as requested, that will change the entire formula significantly. The caravan is currently in the small town of Niltepec in Oaxaca state. Getting a lift to Mexico City would cut out nearly a third of the trip to the Texas border. It would also put them on some major transportation routes to either Texas or California with a better chance at jumping some trains or finding willing supporters with trucks.
But if these efforts fail, America’s problem in all of this will be greatly diminished. At the rate people are dropping out with a thousand miles to go, there may not be much of a caravan left by the time they arrive. And with an additional 5,000 troops waiting to greet them at the border, this threat may not be insurmoutable after all.