Not with a bang, but with a whimper.
A caravan of migrants from Central America set out from southern Mexico last week hoping to raise awareness of the suffering many migrants face from poverty and violence at home.
Many said they hoped to make it to the U.S. and begin a new life. Instead, they have become the focus of a growing crisis between the U.S. and Mexico and the object of almost daily attacks on Twitter from U.S. President Donald Trump.
Now, the caravan has largely stopped in this small hamlet in southern Mexico hundreds of miles from the U.S. border. The migrants find themselves in an uncomfortable spotlight, worried about what happens next.
On Wednesday, the group of about 1,200 migrants—mostly from Honduras, according to organizers and participants—began their fourth day at a public sports center here. “We’re in limbo,” said one man who lay down outside the center, surrounded by rolled mattresses and garbage bags full of empty groceries and bottles.
I’ve been advised by Mexican officials that the caravan is dissipating. GOM has repatriated several hundred participants to Central America and is offering refugee status to others who qualify. I thank the GOM for their partnership on this and other security issues.
— Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen (@SecNielsen) April 3, 2018
as Mexico began deporting marchers for being illegals
Ultimate Irony: Mexico Deports 400 Caravan Marchers After Discovering They Entered the Country Illegally.https://t.co/VPgkS0qSSG
— Diamond and Silk® (@DiamondandSilk) April 4, 2018
Now it is no more
#BREAKING: Migrant caravan abandons plan to travel to US border
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) April 4, 2018
This started out as, to all appearances, a direct challenge to US border security policy by the Mexican government. The organizers issued a list of demands to the US government which demanded the right of the marchers to live in the US
Pueblo sin Fronteras, the political group that organized the 1,500-person caravan set to illegally enter the U.S., has issued a list of demands for the U.S. which includes:
-Respect their rights
-Grant them entry
-End deportations pic.twitter.com/CnUcvPs1DG
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) April 3, 2018
It is well documented that Mexico does not allow Central Americans into Mexico illegally and the only way they pass through is by a combination of graft, corruption, and incompetence. While numbers of Central Americans have made the trip north in the past, they have done so with a very low profile. This large scale march was the first of its kind. And it brought fireworks. President Trump told Mexico that NAFTA is in danger if the march continues and he vowed to move the military to the Mexican border to stop the marchers from crossing if need be.
How much of the dissolution was due to Trump and how much was the march disintegrating under its own weight I’ll leave to your judgement. The important thing is that it has stopped because nothing good was going to come from a confrontation at the border.