The mystery of ‘unknown Middle Easterners’: Who is really in the migrant caravan?

10/23/2018 – The Washington Post

By Kevin Sieff

Gage Skidmore ®

TAPACHULA, Mexico — No one here has seen any “unknown Middle Easterners” among the Central Americans heading north through Mexico.

“Hardened criminals” have been tough to identify, as have “very tough criminal elements.”

Those are the ways President Trump has described members of the migrant caravan. When a reporter asked him how he was so sure, he responded: “Don’t be a baby.”

So who are the more than 5,000 people who left Central America in recent weeks, joining a group that hopes eventually to cross into the United States?

Their stories are often reduced to the reasons they fled their hometowns: people running from violence or poverty or trying to reunite with American wives and children. But watching the enormous procession march through the streets of southern Mexico, the most striking thing about the group’s demographic is how varied it is.

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In Defiance, Thousands of Migrants Move Toward the U.S. They Are Just the Latest.

10/23/2018 – The New York Times

Migrants from a caravan arrived at the United States border at Tijuana, Mexico, in April.CreditCreditMeghan Dhaliwal for The New York Times

by Miriam Jordan 

LOS ANGELES — A tremendous caravan of migrants from Central America that slowly trekked toward the southwestern border this week, both captivating the world and enraging President Trump and other politicians, is just the latest of several to stretch north toward the United States in recent years.

Though the current group appeared to be among the largest, two caravans last year each drew about 350 migrants. Some traveled all the way to the United States, where they applied for asylum. Others sought protection in Mexico. Still others dropped out along the way.

In this case, in defiance of the Mexican and American governments, more than 7,000 Central American undocumented migrants have been en route to the United States for more than a week.

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The Latest: Mexico’s AMLO eyes development to fix migration

10/22/2018 – The Washington Post


Mexico’s president-elect says he is suggesting to U.S. President Donald Trump that the United States, Canada and Mexico jointly tackle migration by agreeing to invest in development.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says the countries ought to reach a deal to invest in Central America and southern Mexico, which are home to come of the region’s poorest areas.

Lopez Obrador made the comment Sunday as thousands of Honduran migrants streamed through southern Mexico hoping to reach the United States.

In the president-elect’s words: “He who leaves his town does not leave for pleasure but out of necessity.”

Lopez Obrador also reiterated promises of jobs in Mexico for Central American migrants fleeing poverty and violence.

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Thousands in U.S.-bound migrant caravan pour into Mexican city

10/22/2018 – Reuters 

27434687863_5f15b2881d_z.jpgA U.S.-bound caravan of thousands of mostly Honduran migrants whom President Donald Trump has declared unwelcome, crowded into the Mexican border city of Tapachula on Sunday, setting up impromptu camps in public spaces under a heavy rain.

Members of the caravan, exhausted from the hours-long trek on foot from the Guatemalan border, mostly ignored police offers to board buses heading to a migrant shelter because of suspicions they might be deported instead.

The migrants have defied threats by Trump that he will close the U.S.-Mexico border if the caravan advances, as well as warnings from the Mexican government that they risk deportation if they cannot justify seeking asylum in Mexico.

Growing caravan of migrants pushes deeper into Mexico

10/22/2018 – Politico

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The caravan of Honduran migrants heading to the U.S. swelled to an estimated 5,000 people Sunday after many migrants found ways to cross from Guatemala into southern Mexico as police blocked the official crossing point. | Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images


Thousands of Honduran migrants hoping to reach the U.S. stretched out on rain-soaked sidewalks, benches and public plazas in the southern Mexico city of Tapachula, worn down by another day’s march under a blazing sun.

Keeping together for strength and safety in numbers, some huddled under a metal roof in the city’s main plaza Sunday night. Others lay exhausted in the open air, with only thin sheets of plastic to protect them from ground soggy from an intense evening shower. Some didn’t even have a bit of plastic yet.

“We are going to sleep here in the street, because we have nothing else,” said Jose Mejia, 42, a father of four from the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula. “We have to sleep on the sidewalk, and tomorrow wake up and keep walking. We’ll get a piece of plastic to cover ourselves if it rains again.”

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Mexico Says Migrants in Caravan Should Proceed Individually as They Enter Country

10/19/2018 – The New York Times

34588233744_c481f7876a_kMexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said on Friday that members of a caravan of Central American migrants heading north should proceed individually if they decide to enter Mexico.

Speaking to local media, Videgaray said the Mexican government had been informing members of the caravan of their options for entering the country, adding that Mexico had sought the assistance of the United Nations.

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Mexico will ask UN for help handling refugee applications

10/19/2018 – The Hill 

43546029465_5ee3f0e602_z.jpgTAL AXELROD

The Mexican government said Thursday it would seek help from the United Nations refugee agency in coordinating efforts with other Central American governments to manage immigrants arriving to Mexico’s southern border seeking refugee status.

The measure “seeks to guarantee the security and integrity of migrants, particularly minors, the elderly and women, and to avoid people being deceived by international criminal organizations dedicated to human trafficking, who put their lives in danger,” the Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“Finally, the government of Mexico reiterates its commitments with the international community’s efforts in favor of safe, orderly and regular migration; and with the human rights of migrants. At the same time, it expresses its conviction that dialogue and international cooperation among countries of origin, transit and destination of migrants are indispensable to confront the challenges that the migratory phenomenon implies,” it added.

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