While the issue of illegal immigration and border security rages on, a new caravan made up of an estimated 15,000 Central Americans is said to be preparing to leave Honduras in mid-January, according to migrant rights advocates, The Los Angeles Times reported.
“They say they are even bigger and stronger than the last caravan,” said Irma Garrido, a member of the migrant advocacy group Reactiva Tijuana Foundation, according to the LA Times.
Garrido said the new caravan, which is already considerably larger than the one currently camped at the Mexico-United States border, will only grow. There are rumors more migrants will join the trek north as the group moves through El Salvador and Guatemala.
Garrido, however, believes the caravan plans to stay in Mexico.
“They will stay in the south of Mexico in Chiapas and Oaxaca. Their aim is to request work there,” he said, according to the LA Times.
A report from Newsweek also quoted Garrido, who expanded on the caravan’s plans.
“… their dynamic is to arrive in Chiapas and ask for employment, as part of President Andrés López Obrador’s initiative to build the Mayan Train and begin reforestation in the area, so that the new migrants won’t saturate Tijuana,” Garrido said, according to Newsweek.
Newly installed Mexican President Lopez Obrador promised employment visas to Central Americans who wished to live in Mexico, Newsweek reported.
“Ideally, nobody should emigrate from their countries, but if they must leave they can have job opportunities in Mexico,” López Obrador said.
The LA Times reported that a newspaper from southern Mexico, El Diario de Chiapas, discovered that news about the groups’ plans, their numbers and the routes they plan to take is being spread through social media.
The same method of communication was used by the last caravan, whose organizers have all but disappeared now that the caravan is at the southern border of the U.S.
However, the social media reaction in Chiapas to the idea of a second caravan was not positive.
“Well, now the government does something. That work is for Mexicans that need it,” wrote Anna Pérez from Palenque, Mexico, on Facebook according to the LA Times. “Opportunistic people who just want to take advantage of the Mexicans.”
President Donald Trump addressed the possibility of a new caravan in a series of tweets Friday morning.
“Word is that a new Caravan is forming in Honduras and they are doing nothing about it. We will be cutting off all aid to these 3 countries – taking advantage of U.S. for years!” Trump tweeted.
“We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with.”
The president also threatened to “Bring our car industry back into the United States where it belongs. Go back to pre-NAFTA, before so many of our companies and jobs were so foolishly sent to Mexico.”
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