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Why should I care about the immigrant caravan?

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Why should I care about the immigrant caravan?

By Jaetguz [CC BY-SA 3.0  (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

By Jaetguz [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

By Jaetguz [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

By Jaetguz [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Caroline Christophersen, News Editor

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At this moment, thousands of people are marching through Mexico. Many are coming from Honduras, a country currently rocked by political and economic instability. This caravan’s numbers are reportedly dropping; while around 7,000 were marching earlier this week, journalists are now estimating around 4,000. The caravan will not arrive at the US border for another couple weeks, but already the news is affecting politics and shaking the news.

On Oct 13, many Hondurans picked up and began the journey north towards Guatemala and then the Mexican border. Bartolo Fuentes, a Honduran migrant and spokesperson of the caravan, said, “The situation (in Honduras) is bad enough that so many people have been inspired to pick up and leave.” According to the Human Rights Watch, Honduras’s rates of murder, violence and corruption are among the highest in the world. One in five Hondurans live in extreme poverty.  

With the midterms just around the corner, the misinformation surrounding the caravan seems to be amplified. Many conservative news sources and posts seem to augment the facts. Although it is impossible to have exact numbers, the on ground reporters are estimating at most 7,000 migrants walking and hitchhiking through Mexico. One particularly mistaken theory circulating is an alleged “merger” with 40,000 Mexicans in an attempt to flood the border just after the midterm elections. Trump tweeted Monday “Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed.” According to journalists on the ground, the Caravan is composed of Central Americans fleeing harsh conditions of their home countries. The majority are women and children. As for the liberal side, there is an offbase theory that the entire caravan has been made up in an effort to get more people to vote red and against immigration this Nov 14th.    

The caravan has brought new conversation to border security. There has been discourse of building a wall to stop illegal crossings, but 40% of undocumented immigrants come into the US by plane usually with visas. Although Mexican immigration is constantly in the news, unauthorized Mexican immigrant numbers peaked in 2007 with 6.9 million. Within the last few years, more Mexicans have been returning to Mexico than immigrating the the United States.

Trump has sent 5,200 military troops to the border where they wait the two weeks for the caravan to arrive. The caravan is sure to stay on the headlines in the coming weeks and is sure to influence the midterm elections.  

 

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Why should I care about the immigrant caravan?