Hundreds of Migrants Board 'The Beast' To Get Closer to US Border


Several hundred migrants headed for the U.S.-Mexico border jumped aboard a north-bound freight train late Thursday night in Arriagia, Mexico — a town in the country’s southernmost state, Chiapas.

The train, commonly referred to by locals as “La Bestia” (Spanish for “The Beast”), has apparently been used throughout history by migrants to evade Mexican government detention on the streets as they move north.

“We hope our God above will keep helping us. We had to keep moving forwards. They won’t let us walk, so we climbed on the train. It’s our only option,” Honduran migrant Michael Hernandez told Reuters on Friday as the migrants climbed down from the train in Ixtepec.

The mass train boarding comes after Mexican government officials reported the escape of 1,300 migrant detainees from a holding facility in Tapachula on the nation’s southern border.

Although Mexico’s National Immigration Institute has since announced that 700 detainees returned to the facility shortly thereafter, the institute indicated that as many as 400 of the escaped Cuban and Honduran detainees likely boarded the slow-moving train as it headed for Veracruz.

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This escape — the largest ever reported, according to authorities — also comes on the heels of increased detention of illegal migrants by the Mexican government.

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It’s a consequence of President Donald Trump’s recent threats to shut down the U.S.-Mexico border should the nation not do more to prevent the spread of illegal immigrants headed for the United States.

“Mexico must stop illegals from entering the U.S. through their country and our Southern Border. Mexico has for many years made a fortune off of the U.S., far greater than Border Costs,” Trump wrote in a series of tweets this past March.

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“If Mexico doesn’t immediately stop ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States throug our Southern Border, I will be CLOSING the Border,” Trump wrote.

According to the Rev. Alejandro Solalinde, a migrant rights activist in the region, those making the trek are not paying heed to Trump or the Mexican government’s warnings.

In fact, Solalinde believes the response has only emboldened migrants to seek strategies more dangerous — and less likely to see them caught — than traditional over-land walking routes.

“They’re riding the train again, that’s a fact,” Solalinde told Fox News and the Associated Press.

“It’s going to go back to the way it was, the (Mexican) government doesn’t want them to be seen. If the migrants move quietly like a stream of little ants, they’ll allow them to, but they are not going to allow them to move through Mexico publicly or massively,” he said.

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Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal. Having joined up as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, he went on to cover the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for the outlet, regularly co-hosting its video podcast, "WJ Live," as well.
Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal and regularly co-hosted the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."

Sciascia first joined up with The Western Journal as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, before graduating with a degree in criminal justice and political science from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and worked briefly as a political operative with the Massachusetts Republican Party.

He covered the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for The Western Journal. His work has also appeared in The Daily Caller.