FederalImmigration & BorderIssuesMexican Security Forces Halt Migrant Caravan Bound for the U.S.

Last week Mexican security forces thwarted thousands of Central American migrants traveling in a caravan in an attempt to illegally cross into the United States.
January 29, 2020
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Last week, Mexican security forces denied entry and deported thousands of Central American migrants traveling north in a caravan towards the U.S.

The surge of migrants on Thursday was the second reported caravan in less than a week after the first caravan was thwarted by Mexican National Guardsmen at the Suchiate River on Monday.

According to the government of Guatemala, approximately 4,000 migrants entered Guatemala from Honduras with the intention of then traveling north to the United States. 

Though the caravan was mostly composed of individuals from Honduras, other prominent countries of origin also included Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. 

As the Mexican National Guard and other government security forces continue to work to prohibit the caravan from progressing, individuals who are unable to verify their legal status are being flown and bussed back to their home countries. 

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Altogether, according to a press release from the National Migration Institute (INM) of Mexico, the government says more than 2,300 Honduran migrants were deported between January 18 and January 27. 

Additionally, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, more than 1,000 Honduran migrants were removed by ground transportation and more than 1,200 by aircraft during the same time frame. 

These actions by the Mexican government come after the Trump administration pressured the country to increase its enforcement efforts at the U.S.-Mexico border, even threatening to impose economic sanctions if the government did not do so. 

In light of the Mexican government’s recent action, the Trump administration has been quick to praise Mexico for their efforts working to prevent the migrant caravan from reaching the U.S. border.

When asked during an interview how he believed the government of Mexico had handled the situation, acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Mark Morgan, replied, “outstanding.”

“Mexico has really joined the United States as true partners, greater than they ever have before,” Morgan continued before also praising the government of many Central American countries, some of whom the United States has forged asylum cooperation agreements.  

Earlier in January, Morgan along with other Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials met with Honduran immigration officials to discuss continued cooperation in combating “smuggling organizations” and prohibiting “irregular migration” moving forward. 

In 2018, a migrant caravan of approximately 8,000 individuals, many of whom claimed to be fleeing violence and economic hardship, attempted to cross the into the U.S. illegally.

Since taking office in 2017, President Trump has instituted a number of enhanced border security initiatives, including the plans to build a wall along the southern border, the Migration Protection Protocols (MPPs), and the institution of a third country asylum rule

Attributing Mexico’s enhanced security to President Trump’s efforts, Commissioner Morgan said, “Before, (Mexico)… used to facilitate these caravans… through the entire country of Mexico to reach our border. That has now changed 180 degrees.”

“CBP has all but ended catch and release. So even if they do get through Mexico, we’re stopping them at our border, and we’re going to return and remove them. We are not releasing them into the interior of the United States.,” Morgan said, emphasizing the hardline immigration and border security initiatives implemented by the Trump administration.

Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf further emphasized Morgan’s comments by issuing praise of his own to the government of Mexico and saying, “Should any members of the caravan reach the U.S.-Mexico border, they will be processed accordingly and quickly removed, returned or repatriated.”

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Sarah McConnell

Sarah McConnell

Sarah McConnell is a reporter for The Texan. Previously, she worked as a Cyber Security Consultant after serving as a Pathways Intern at the Department of Homeland Security – Citizenship and Immigration Services. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Texas A&M as well as her Master of Public Service and Administration degree from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M. In her free time, Sarah is an avid runner, jazz enthusiast, and lover of all things culinary.