There was a caravan of around 1,000 would-be immigrants making its way from Honduras to the U.S. border through Mexico. However, that caravan isn’t expected to continue much farther than Mexico City. The official reason is that the size of the caravan has made it simply too cumbersome to continue. But what about President Trump’s Wednesday proclamation sending the National Guard to the southern border immediately?
The Logistics of Travel Too Difficult
Thursday morning, The Washington Post reported that the caravan would end its journey at the Mexican capital due to the sheer size of the group. According to organizers of the trek, the group’s size has made the logistics of travel too difficult. According to one Mexican American activist who helped organize the trek, Irineo Mujica, “When we saw the numbers, we were shocked. It’s impossible to travel with this many people.”
But is it?
The walk from El Florido, Honduras, the most commonly used border crossing into Guatemala, to Mexico City, Mexico is 1,539 km (about 956 miles), and, according to Google Maps, is a 319-hour hike. From Mexico City to the U.S. Border Patrol Checkpoint on US-83, just south of San Antonio, Texas, is 1,206 km (about 750 miles) over 250 hours. The Post says the folks in the caravan thought they were headed for Tijuana, which would be another 2,877 km (about 1,788 miles) over 585 hours.
For those who would take their chances in Texas, the group is over half way there. However, thanks to California’s sanctuary policies, the crossing from Tijuana would be a much safer bet – assuming they can actually make it there. But despite the difficulties of such a journey, the would-be immigrants will have already covered close to a thousand miles – many likely will have travelled far more – before even getting to their stopping point in Mexico. One must wonder just how much of this new plan to stop the group in Mexico is really due to logistics.
Trump Sends in the National Guard
As Liberty Nation’s Leesa K. Donner pointed out, President Trump has been tweeting about this caravan, and warning Mexico to enforce their own border laws and stop this. He has, rightly so, pointed out that since they have to go through Mexico first, this shouldn’t be a U.S. responsibility.
Wednesday, the president signed a proclamation that sends the National Guard to the southern border. Then, news breaks of the caravan organizers stopping the trip in Mexico, well south of the U.S. border. Whether militarizing the border is right or wrong, it was, apparently, effective.
What is to Come?
President Trump gave the Mexican government some credit in his Thursday tweet recognizing that the group was breaking up. Of course, that isn’t because Mexico decided to enforce their border laws on the caravan – were that the case, they wouldn’t even be entering Mexico. Indeed, whether the caravan is, in fact, succumbing to logistics issues due to poor planning or merely trying to find a less embarrassing way of avoiding a standoff with the National Guard at the border, Mexico likely deserves little credit. But if the president wants to throw them a bone to smooth things over now that there won’t be a caravan, why not?
What does the future hold for the over 1,000 people in the caravan – at least 80% of whom claim to be fleeing political oppression in Honduras? Most of them say they will finish the journey to the U.S. to ask for asylum on their own – and it’s entirely possible multiple, smaller groups may form.
But one of the benefits of traveling in such a large group was the promise of security – safety in numbers. Evidently, the journey from Honduras to the U.S. is fraught with danger. The Mexican states bordering the U.S. are rife with violence, and even for those who make it to the border, asylum is no guarantee. What are those turned away at the border to do? Walk back home?
One caravan organizer claimed that many of them planned to ask for asylum, not sneak over illegally – that’s many, not all, or even most. We can just about be certain that a large number of these folks will simply make their way north and attempt to sneak across.
Caravan Organizers Share in Responsibility
Those who chose to leave their homes – Hondurans and everyone else alike – are ultimately responsible for their own actions and lives. They made the choice to attempt the journey; and have no one to blame for that but themselves. However, the caravan organizers do have some responsibility, as they promised these people safe passage to the U.S. border – which they now will not receive. But according to Mujica now, that wasn’t even the point. Evidently, the purpose of this caravan – and the others like it that came before – was to raise awareness in Mexico and start a discussion about Mexican immigration reform. He even called the spotlight and media attention directed their way thanks to the Trump tweets “the best thing we have won,” as it has resulted in a high-level meeting with Mexican immigration authorities.