Mexico and Central America Brace for Incoming Waves of Illegal Immigration

While the United States grapples with the growing chaos at its southern border, several Latin American countries have taken the initiative to prevent unlawful migrants and organized groups from illegally traversing through their territories to reach the U.S.

The Mexican government has initiated action after learning about the formation of a new U.S.-bound migrant caravan dubbed as the “mega caravan.” The migrant procession is expected to depart from the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula on March 30.

The information surrounding the mega caravan has circulated for about a month through social media and messenger applications. WhatsApp has helped spread details of the caravan throughout Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. These nations are the leading points of origin for most people who participate in these organized expeditions to the U.S. 

On March 23, El Universal reported that the Mexican consulate in San Pedro Sula sent a warning to foreign nationals to abstain from participating in the caravan to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. Earlier this month, government authorities placed entry restrictions on its northern and southern borders to decrease potential cases of COVID-19. The Mexican government explained it would abide by its immigration laws and health measures to halt unlawful entries. Additionally, the same warning dispelled a rumor that migrants traveling with minors will gain automatic admission into Mexico or Guatemala.

Guatemala has followed Mexico’s example of securing its borders. The Guatemalan Migration Institute has coordinated efforts with Honduran immigration officials to track the whereabouts of the caravan. Moreover, Guatemala has sent its military to its border with Honduras to help immigration agents turn back the migrant bloc.

Like Mexico and Guatemala, Honduras has experienced the ramifications of being a transit nation. According to Carolina Menijvar, director of the National Institute of Migration of Honduras, the Central American country has already experienced many illegal aliens trespassing  its territory to reach the United States. Director Menjivar emphasized that foreign nationals can apply for asylum in Honduras, but many opt to travel north to reach Mexico and eventually the United States.

Even countries whose nationals leave in droves to illegally enter the United States have bolstered their borders to counter unauthorized entries from other nations. Meanwhile, the Biden administration’s new immigration policies have thrown open the door for endless waves of unchecked migration.

Our country cannot solely rely on the proactive enforcement of our neighbors to the south, nor should we. A few policy changes on the home front can help ease the burden that the U.S. is facing right now with mass migration. There is no excuse not to secure the southern border, especially during a global pandemic when millions of Americans are without work.

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