Several thousand people: men, women, and children,have trudged in the boiling heat from Central America and Mexico toward the southern US border. Their goal? To leave their countries, which have been corrupted with gangs, drugs and crime, and enter the United States to apply for asylum and secure a better life for themselves.
The migrant caravan, which as of November 4th was “750 miles from Brownsville, Texas, the closest U.S. port of entry”, are making their way through Veracruz, Mexico (USA Today). Many controversies are being hurled between Republicans and Democrats about this caravan for whether it’s an “invasion of our country” or not (Trump). One thing is for certain – these migrants do have a right to apply for asylum at the border, which is protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, it has been recorded that some of these migrants desperately tore down the Guatemala-Mexico border, which is the sole reason for the demand from President Trump for defenses at our own border. But mind you, it is a small group within which unfortunately wrongly represents the whole.
Migrant caravans happen more often than you think. They occur basically every year, but aren’t usually reported on due to the smaller number of individuals in said caravans. According to Homeland Security, an average number of 20,000 people apply for asylum. Based on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, to even be eligible for asylum in the United States, one must first arrive in the United States either by being in it already or they must come in through designated entrance ports. Next, an asylum seeker must fill out the I-589 Form (application for asylum). Then, tedious background checks are processed after the form is filled out, and if all goes well, the person is ordered to show up at an interview, to review their eligibility and credibility. That’s it – if someone passes all of those, they’re welcomed into the United States.
Five thousand soldiers are to be issued to the border, to help the present National Guard and Border Patrol against any of those who plan to enter illegally. According to the Trump Administration, this is not by any means preventing the migrants who are coming legally, and applying for asylum – it is only an extra security measure to protect our nation’s border.
Recently, the migrants arrived in Tijuana. Going against Mexicans protesting against the caravan, they arrived at the border. Mexican police force met them at the border line, and attempted to form a barricade to halt the migrants from crossing illegally and telling them to go back. This didn’t stop them, however, for they sprinted past and broke through the barricades of the Mexican police and ran toward the border. American Border Patrol responded to this by throwing tear gas to stop the migrants attempting to enter illegally. There were migrants throwing the tear gas back, and some threw rocks toward the border patrol agents to express their frustration.
In the end, many of these migrants are stuck in Tijuana, awaiting for any new information that would allow for them to enter. Unfortunately, due to restrictions, members of the caravan have been illegally crossing the border, due to their desperation for wanting to enter.