There’s a new migrant caravan creeping up from Central America to the US border.
Just like what happened earlier this year, another massive group of people are making their way towards the US as part of a supposedly NGO-led effort to seek asylum there. It originally started off as 1500 people but has since almost quadrupled in size to 5,000 and counting as the caravan crossed the from Guatemala into Mexico, from where its members might once again disperse into small cells as they attempt to sneak across the American border like they did half a year ago. Cynics have alleged that this is a carefully timed provocation organized by Trump’s “deep state” foes such as Soros and the like who intend to flood the American airwaves with decontextualized images of immigrant children being separated from their parents at the border right before the upcoming midterms in early November, but there’s much more to it than just that.
Systemic mismanagement, corruption, drug violence, and poverty are powerful push factors that predispose desperate people into believing human smugglers’ lies about how easy it allegedly is for them to gain asylum in America, but the US’ history of doling out generous welfare benefits for illegal immigrants is a powerful pull factor too. The ideal solution would be to implement a combination of hard and soft security measures that successfully combat the cartels and secure national borders while simultaneously improving the socio-economic livelihoods of the locals to the point where they don’t feel compelled to risk their lives and flee northwards, though this is already being attempted to a certain extent but with mixed results. The US previously promised lavish funds to the so-called “Northern Triangle” countries of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala through what it calls the “Alliance for Prosperity”, but Trump decided to curtail it.
This led to complaints from the regional governments who alleged that Trump’s policy towards this multilateral framework is partly responsible for the caravan crisis, though the US’ tacit position seems to be that they need to do more before they can earn access to the full amount of these funds. The resultant dilemma is extremely delicate for all sides because the US can’t risk Central America failing even more than it already is – largely due to Washington’s own military, economic, and political policies towards it – because this could catalyze a chain reaction of destabilization that might lead to overwhelming numbers of migrants fleeing north towards its border, while these same countries veritably require the US’ military and socio-economic support in order to sustain whatever relative gains they might make in keeping their people from leaving.
The second migrant caravan is therefore proof that there are serious underlying root causes to this phenomenon that precede whatever speculated “deep state” involvement might be partly responsible.