Around 1,000 migrants began walking Wednesday from northern Honduras toward the Guatemala border, hoping to reach the United States for better living conditions as coronavirus paralyzed Central America’s economy.
By Thursday, Al Jazeera reports, the caravan of migrants “had crossed the border from Honduras without proper documentation on their path to the U.S.”
Guatemalan authorities are reporting at least 1,000 people had crossed the border from Honduras late this week. The incident was caught on camera:
Here’s the latest migrant caravan blowing through half-hearted Guatemalan police pic.twitter.com/3LIJSxkOJF
— Todd Bensman (@BensmanTodd) October 2, 2020
Governments in Central America are aware of the caravan traversing the Guatemala–Honduras border. Mexico’s immigration agency released a statement saying it would ensure “safe, orderly and legal” migration is seen. It also said it would not support the caravan nor help promote its size.
The U.S. Embassy in Honduras tweeted Thursday that it will be “more difficult to cross the United States border illegally. The journey has become even more dangerous, given the current global pandemic of #COVID19.”
The latest caravan comes as the Central American economy has imploded, bounded by insurmountable debts, a virus pandemic, high unemployment, and food insecurity woes. The U.N.’s ILO said Wednesday that 34 million jobs had been lost in Latin America due to the virus-induced downturn.
CBS News quoted local television program Hoy Mismo, who interviewed one caravan migrant, who said:
“I’m leaving with my husband and my two children. There is no work here. There is nothing to do, and if you find a job they only pay you 100 lempiras ($4) a day,” the migrant said.
After a series of migrant caravans (read: here & here & here), the U.S. government has strengthened its border defenses against illegals over the last few years. The virus pandemic has also allowed the government to shut down the asylum system at its southern border. The Trump administration has also pressured Mexico to take a more aggressive approach toward migrants by deploying the National Guard to intercept them.
And now, the next migrant caravan could arrive at the US southern border by the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential elections.