Migrant Caravan

Nellely Azpeitia and Kayla Briceño

 Departing from San Pedro Sula on Oct. 13, the migrant caravan arrived in groups at the Tijuana border on Nov. 13. It took others over a month to reach the border but they all undertook the trip for the same reason: the conditions in their country were consistently worsening. The migrants were fleeing from their home countries, which included Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. On Nov. 4, they arrived in Mexico City; some of the people in the caravan remained in the city in shelters while the goal of others was only to enter Mexico in search of a better life.

On the day of their arrival, President Donald Trump ordered thousands of troops to the border. Shortly after their arrival, the U.S. border agents fired tear gas to the immigrant caravan in order to disperse and slow the groups close to the border.

Sophomore Jacob Prior comments on the method used to delay the groups of immigrants.

“For the caravan, I think the people that are actually seeking asylum to come to this country should be allowed to come in the right way like a lot of other people are doing. I have seen many reports where people are throwing rocks, and I know we shot tear gas out at them, which I don’t think was a good idea. Seeking asylum is okay, but not throwing things at people and being violent,” said Prior.

Before the several thousand caravan migrants arrived in Tijuana, there was already about 3,000 people waiting to seek asylum and enter the U.S. legally. The wait to be processed was already beyond six weeks, and now with the several thousand asylum seekers from the caravan, they may not be able to step foot on U.S. soil until February or March of next year. There is no system in place which guarantees them legal entrance into the U.S.

It has been over a month since the migrant caravan began and four weeks since the first group’s arrival: there is not an immediate solution and as more migrants arrive daily, they are even starting to breach the border. Yuli Oceguera, a senior, shares her opinion of the situation with the caravan as a whole and suggests a way that could help the progress of aiding the thousands of migrants.

“My opinion is that we should grant [the migrants] asylum or at least come up with a plan to help them because they wouldn’t walk 1,600 miles if it was safe to stay in Honduras. I believe our government is not doing a good job welcoming these people and throwing tear gas at them is not a symbol of welcome or a symbol of hope which is what these people need right now,” said Oceguera. “If the U.S. can’t offer asylum to everyone in the caravan some other countries could step in and offer to take some people.”

They are forced to wait in unsurvivable conditions — an overcrowded and unsanitary environment — in hopes to improve the living conditions for themselves and their families by coming to the U.S. Due to the wait, numerous accounts of caravan members are choosing to attempt to enter the U.S. illegally out of complete desperation. Despite the fact that the U.S. federal government has been keeping them from crossing the border by coercing them to remain in Mexico, the place they wish to escape, many caravan members are still taking their chances by crossing the border illegally, some of whom have been successful and others who have not.