A caravan of migrants fleeing Honduras has already doubled in size as more than 3,000 people are moving northward with the goal of entering the United States.
“We’re going to drop in on Donald Trump. He has to take us in,” said Andrea Fernandez, 24, who said she is traveling with her three children because Honduras has high crime and few jobs, according to Yahoo News.
The migrant caravan started in northern Honduras with about 1,600 people. It entered Guatemala on Monday. Reuters reported that Guatemalan police initially blocked the group’s way, but then allowed it into the country.
After crossing the border, the group chanted, “Yes, we can” as it moved toward the city of Esquipulas, The Guardian reported.
“We are not criminals, we are migrants,” said Keilin Umana, who said she was a nurse. The pregnant woman told the Associated Press that gang members had threatened her life.
— The Hill (@thehill) October 16, 2018
The migrant march could have political implications for next month’s midterms, historian Dana Frank noted.
Frank said Republicans will likely use the caravan as an argument for increased border security, while Democrats will paint Republicans as unsympathetic to the migrants’ plight and use the issue as further evidence of the need for comprehensive immigration reform.
The U.S. has said the migrants are following false hopes.
“We are seriously concerned about the caravan of migrants traveling north from Honduras, with false promises of entering the United States by those who seek to exploit their compatriots,” the U.S. Embassy in Honduras said Sunday in a statement.
Last Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence urged Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, President Jimmy Morales of Guatemala and Vice President Oscar Ortiz of El Salvador to prevent migrants from flooding across their borders, Fox News reported.
“If you do more, I’m here to say on behalf of the president of the United States and the American people, we’ll do more,” he said.
“Tell your people: Don’t put your families at risk by taking the dangerous journey north to attempt to enter the United States illegally,” said Pence.
The caravan seeks to exploit immigration law loopholes Congress has refused to fix, said Katie Waldman, a Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman, according to The Washington Post.
The migrant caravan was “what we see day-in and day-out at the border as a result of well-advertised and well-known catch-and-release loopholes,” she said.
“Until Congress acts, we will continue to have de-facto open borders that guarantees future ‘caravans’ and record numbers of family units entering the country illegally,” she said.
Mexico, through which the migrants hope to travel to reach the U.S., issued a statement saying its borders were not automatically open to groups seeking to pass through to get to the U.S.
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