Nov 16

Central American caravans on November 16

After more than a month on the road, traveling by foot, bus, car, truck, and every other means of conveyance, the  5000-odd mostly Honduran caravan has reached  its destination. Eight hundred migrants arrived at dawn yesterday, joining more than 750 already in place, and the remainder are expected today.

Residents of the city in which they encamped came out in the hundreds to protest their arrival. Singing their own national anthem and shouting anti-immigrant slogans, the protesters threw stones at the migrants. One woman shouted, “We don’t want you. Would you want us to go to your house and make a huge mess?” On Wednesday night, a fight broke out between the migrants and locals, angry at their arrival.

No, the migrants have yet not made it to America. This “welcome” occurred in  the Mexican city of Tijuana, and it helps explain the eagerness exhibited by most Mexican authorities to hurry the caravan along and out of their jurisdiction. Now, of course, slammed up against the border, the seemingly irresistible force has (perhaps) met its immovable object. With more than 700,000 asylum cases already pending, the U.S. system could not accommodate the migrants, even if it wanted to. And President Trump has called the caravan an invasion and has beefed up the Border Patrol contingent on the U.S. side to prevent their entry.

Invasion too strong a word? Check out this video of the caravan breaking into Mexico last month, waving the Honduran flag and tearing down the fence between the two countries.

South of Tijuana, other migrants were strung out over hundreds of miles. Several hundred were stranded at a gas station in Navojoa, about 750 miles from Tijuana. Others were straggling in and more than 5,000 were expected to be in the city by today. Estimates vary, but as many as 7,000 more migrants were elsewhere in Mexico, making their way to Tijuana and the border. The city says it can accommodate only a fraction of them and the U.S. has a months-long waiting list for asylum seekers, but they keep coming.

 

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