We reported Friday about the first Central American caravan of the new year leaving Honduras and entering Guatemala last week. At the time, quoting a Guatemala official, we predicted that stopping the caravan would likely be up to Mexican authorities. In the meantime, however, it appears that the government of Guatemala may be doing more than expected. Reports over the weekend indicate that some 300 Honduran migrants who had entered Guatemala without lawfully registering at the border were rounded up and placed on buses for a trip back to their home country, thus–in the words of an Associated Press story–“effectively dashing their plans to travel together as a ‘caravan’ with hopes of reaching the United States.”
Elsewhere in Guatemala, authorities negotiated a deal with another group of migrants to return them to the Guatemalan town of Esquipulas, near the Honduran border.
Guatemala officials expressed hope that such efforts would discourage many of the migrants from attempting the long, difficult journey to the United States.
In related news, migrants that have reached the U.S. and for whom asylum has been denied are now being quickly returned to their home countries or sent to third countries with which the Trump administration has negotiated agreements. For example, Brazilian migrants–of whom a full 17,900 were arrested at the southwest border in the last fiscal year–can now be deported to Mexico. The same may soon be true for the growing numbers of “extra-continentals,” coming primarily from India and Africa, once an agreement currently being negotiated is finalized. Mexican illegals for their part are being flown deep into their home country, to discourage further attempts to reach the U.S. And as of January 16, 157 Hondurans and Salvadorans have been sent to Guatemala.
The agreements the Trump administration has struck with numerous countries constitutes what some have called a “virtual wall” of legal barriers that appears to be dissuading the kind of huge influx into America witnessed last year. Now, only one in 20 illegal migrants are being released into the U.S. compared with 2019, when the ratio was one in every two.
Nevertheless, the lure of possible jobs in America available from U.S. employers eager to save a buck continues. Interviews with some migrants suggest a high degree of determination. For example, one young woman in the 300-strong caravan mentioned above told how she had actually crossed into California last year from the Mexican town of Mexicali, only to be apprehended and deported back to Honduras. She readily admitted that her goal was solely economic, not to escape crime or persecution. Another Honduran, a male, confessed that this caravan represented his fourth attempt to reach America, the previous three having failed somewhere in Mexico.
The lure remains, regardless of the dangers and the odds. The chance of securing a job illegally in America, however remote, needs to be totally eliminated. That is something no foreign government can assist with.
For more see Breitbart News.