The migrant caravan and the crisis on the Mexican-American border

The migrant caravan and the crisis on the Mexican-American border

From the beginning of his presidential campaign in 2016, Donald Trump created an important shift in political rhetoric regarding immigration. The shift coincided with a protectionist turn on economic matters including reviewing trade agreements with China, Mexico, Canada, and Europe, which he said were harmful to the American people, even if they were beneficial for elite groups and corporations (Time, 2016). These statements were always accompanied by messages opposing illegal immigration, denouncing lack of control on the border with Mexico and mediocre management of the migratory phenomenon along with related crimes like human trafficking, drug trade, etc. (New York Times, 2016).

Trump’s opinion became infamous as a result of his fiery speeches and Tweets regarding the impact of mass and uncontrolled immigration. There were three events that created a strong international echo: the migration ban against countries considered dangerous for the security of the United States (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, North Korea, and Venezuela), the beginning of the construction of the border wall, and the separation of migrant parents from their children born in the US. The first was approved by the Supreme Court and considered a great victory in favor of Trump, the second simply continued construction that had already started under Bill Clinton, and the third was hampered by the Democratic Party preventing a solution to an irregularity which has existed for many years. As if this were not enough, thousands of Central American migrants from Honduras and El Salvador then organized a caravan to enter the US by claiming asylum. These migrant caravans captured public attention, and while there were always such groups that attempted to gain entrance to the US. by applying for asylum en-masse, this time the event became a hot topic in the news as the caravans were considerably well-organized and composed of thousands of people. The composition of these caravans is mostly male, although there are also many women and children fleeing the violence and economic crisis in their home countries.

In April 2018 Kirstjen Nielsen of the Secretary of National Security reported on the caravan that was heading to Mexico to continue into the United States (Department of Homeland Security, 2018). The authorities of both countries engaged in talks to try to tackle the situation, but given the tensions generated by Trump’s derogatory statements and the policies they promoted, mainly by supporters of the future Mexican President López Obrador, agreements were stalled while the immigrants entered Mexico by the thousands. The Mexican Senate asked the government to end immigration cooperation with the United States (Senado de México, 2018) since it considered Trump sending of the American National Guard to help control the border with Mexico to be an offense and a provocation. However, it would not be the first time that a US president has resorted to reinforcing the border with Mexico with troops: Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama did the same in 2010 (the Guardian, 2018a).

The caravans continued advancing and penetrating Mexico as migrants and refugees did on their way to Germany, organized, often violent and with strong advice from different NGOs. 14,000 people from Honduras were part of the irregular march that pushed the border between Guatemala and Mexico to reach the US., Information that became known after revealing that three of the four groups of Honduran migrants would be financed and guided by the Open Society of tycoon George Soros (Sputnik, 2018). This is how we observe that private organizations with spurious purposes tried to take advantage of the delicate situation and people with limited resources for their political ends, encouraging them and financing them. These measures promoted by Soros and different political groups and NGOs respond to a clear idea of ​​promoting globalization, the elimination of nation-states, their borders, and their identity.

Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala was violated in October by hundreds of migrants who forcefully attacked police and civilians on the border, in violation of the treatment offered by the Mexican government to help them enter their country in a peaceful and orderly manner (BBC News, 2018). This was not an isolated case: to the present, numerous assaults and violent incidents have occurred on Mexican territory, which led to the expulsion and deportation of hundreds of migrants to their countries of origin (the Guardian, 2018b). The Mexican government even offered a plan hospitably entitled “You are in your house” to the migrants, which offered them the possibility of regularizing their legal status, receiving medical attention, etc.– This proposal was rejected by the migrants dead set on the richest country in the world (RT en Español, 2018a).

The United States did not sit idly by and, in the face of what happened in Mexico, Donald Trump announced the reinforcement of the southern border with more troops, believing that, within the migrant caravan, there were also dangerous gangs and delinquents (Donald Trump, 2018).

It did not take long for a mass assault by the migrants to take place, but this time on the US. border, which was repelled using tear gas, leading to 42 arrests. The US government made a subsequent statement reminding the world that that irregular and violent access of people to their country is prohibited (CNN, 2018). Likewise, the Mexican government reinforced the US border and arrested 98 of the assailants who tried to enter US territory to face deportion (RT en Español, 2018b).

The most serious consequences of the migration phenomenon are being suffered by Mexico, a country that has ironically contributed the greatest number of illegal immigrants to the US. Now, they themselves are suffering the consequences of irregular and massive immigration, not without generating a great wave of hostility toward the migrants as a result of increased robberies, beatings, assaults, etc. (La Hora, 2018). The mayor of Tijuana declared a “humanitarian crisis” after being overwhelmed by migrants that are costing the city a fortune as he begs the United Nations for economic aid to be able to sustain the caravan participants (Fox News, 2018). The international community is looking at the problem from afar, meanwhile, the Mexican State suffers this situation personally.

The globalists argue that immigration is favorable to the economic development of the United States, but there are other relevant factors such as culture shock and economic stagnation that hinder the social integration of foreigners. For the moment, the situation is far from resolved due to the continuous arrival of migrants to Mexico and the blockade of the illegal crossings into the United States, a situation that gets worse due to the refusal of immigrants to regularize their appeals and cooperate with the Mexican authorities. The US will continue to repel attempts by migrants to illegally penetrate its territory, and fight the efforts of globalist NGOs trying to demolish borders between countries.


Time. (2016). http://time.com. [online] Available at: http://time.com/4559597/donald-trump-closing-argument-campaign-ad/ [Accessed 24 Nov. 2018].New York Times (2016). A Look at Trump’s Immigration Plan, Then and Now. [online] New York Times. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/08/31/us/politics/donald-trump-immigration-changes.html [Accessed 25 Nov. 2018].

the Guardian. (2018a). Trump is not first president to deploy troops to US-Mexico border. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/apr/03/trump-mexico-wall-military-guards-obama-bush-not-first-president [Accessed 26 Nov. 2018].

the Guardian. (2018b). Mexico to deport up to 500 migrants who tried to cross US border. [online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/nov/25/us-mexico-border-crossing-closes-migrants [Accessed 27 Nov. 2018].

Senado de México (2018). [online] Available at: http://comunicacion.senado.gob.mx/index.php/informacion/boletines/40541-el-senado-rechaza-categoricamente-militarizar-la-frontera-con-mexico-y-pide-al-gobierno-de-la-republica-suspender-la-cooperacion-bilateral-con-los-estados-unidos.html [Accessed 27 Nov. 2018].

Sputnik (2018). ¿Está Soros detrás de la caravana migrante hondureña?. [online] Available at: https://mundo.sputniknews.com/firmas/201810261082992121-soros-detras-caravana-migrantes-hondurena/?utm_source=short_direct&utm_medium=short_url&utm_content=jRQx&utm_campaign=URL_shortening&fbclid=IwAR0k_dLLEALERWRfFw2h_01v-g4nmgmOzgCAcLzgSeDNA40sCM0tCgBeQag [Accessed 27 Nov. 2018].

BBC News. (2018). Thousands stuck at Guatemala-Mexico border. [online] Available at: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45920624 [Accessed 26 Nov. 2018].

Donald Trump (2018). Twitter. [online] Available at: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1057614564639019009?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1057614564639019009&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fmundo.sputniknews.com%2Famerica_del_norte%2F201810311083111888-eeuu-se-moviliza-contra-caravana-de-migrantes%2F [Accessed 27 Nov. 2018].

Department of Homeland Security. (2018). Secretary Nielsen Statement on Arrival of Central American ‘Caravan’. [online] Available at: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2018/04/25/secretary-nielsen-statement-arrival-central-american-caravan [Accessed 26 Nov. 2018].

CNN. (2018). Dozens of migrants arrested after crossing US-Mexico border. [online] CNN. Available at: https://edition.cnn.com/2018/11/26/us/san-ysidro-port-of-entry-migrant-arrests/index.html [Accessed 27 Nov. 2018].

RT en Español. (2018a). México deporta a 98 migrantes que intentaron cruzar ilegalmente hacia EE.UU.. [online] Available at: https://actualidad.rt.com/actualidad/296949-mexico-deporta-migrantes-eeuu?fbclid=IwAR0bIT6HZbxxdOX7BKLxAd6uZsgNdGZsc3aPc__eu3FCH0E59rQRh8Qfdsg [Accessed 28 Nov. 2018].

RT en Español. (2018b). Los centroamericanos integrantes de la caravana migrante votan en contra del plan de Peña Nieto. [online] Available at: https://actualidad.rt.com/actualidad/293560-integrantes-caravana-migrante-votan-plan?fbclid=IwAR3Az5-BXOpGNHk_bVJ146LrSGQcNNRwVe8RwdEMltPcvTCvqb55ck97Ipg [Accessed 27 Nov. 2018].

La Hora. (2018). Degenhart señala a hondureños de cometer robos y asaltos – La Hora. [online] Available at: https://lahora.gt/degenhart-senala-a-hondurenos-de-cometer-robos-y-asaltos/ [Accessed 28 Nov. 2018].

Fox News. (2018). Tijuana declares humanitarian crisis as migrant group that split from caravan pushes toward border. [online] Available at: https://www.foxnews.com/world/tijuana-declares-humanitarian-crisis-as-small-migrant-group-pushes-toward-border [Accessed 28 Nov. 2018].

Gonzalo Collado De Giovannini
Argentinian Spanish-Italian Analyst, specialist in Geopolitics, International Security and Global Affairs. Twitter: @GonzaloCDG

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December 2021