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3,000 migrants make their way towards US-Mexico border

By Jimmy Adeel
|
April 26, 2023

At least 3,000 migrants are marching through Mexico, making their way to the U.S. southern border. The group, composed of individuals from Central and South America, China and other Asian countries, is currently in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas.

Migrants plan to reach Mexico City and pressure government officials to provide them with exit visas or legal documents allowing them to continue their journey into the United States.

Migrants' Journey and Demands

The group departed from Tapachula, near the Guatemalan border, and has been traveling since Sunday. The caravan has threatened to block roads or cause self-injuries unless the Mexican government meets their demands, including supplying buses to transport them to Mexico City and providing basic necessities like water and food.

Among their other demands is the closure of National Immigration Institute detention centers like the one in Ciudad Juárez, which caught fire on March 27, resulting in the deaths of 40 migrants. 

The group seeks justice for those killed in the fire and is asking to be treated like anyone else.

The Caravan's Organizer and His Goals

Irineo Mújica, an activist with dual Mexico-United States citizenship, organized the caravan. He has called on Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's administration to court the agency's director, Francisco Garduño, for the migrant deaths. 

Six officials of the National Immigration Institute, a guard at the center, and the Venezuelan migrant accused of starting the blaze are already in custody facing homicide charges.

Mújica also demands the demilitarization of the National Immigration Institute and improvements to how migrants are registered in Mexico. He has called the march a "Viacrucis," or stations of the cross procession. 

Some migrants carry banners or wooden crosses that read "Government Crime" and "The Government Killed Them," referring to the 40 migrants who died in the detention center fire.

The Road Ahead for the Migrants

The group plans to complete the 750-mile walk to Mexico City in 10 days. Many of them are expected to continue north to the U.S. border, posing a challenge for President Joe Biden's administration, which has seen an influx of undocumented migrants arriving at the border and entering the country.

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, there were approximately 11.35 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. in January 2022. 

The outcome of the migrants' demands and the response from the Mexican government remain uncertain, but the group's determination to reach the U.S. border is clear.

Biden's Failure: GOP Pushes “Border Reinforcement Act"

As the caravan moves forward, the United States faces another wave of illegal immigration, raising concerns among conservative Americans who are already alarmed by the situation at the southern border. 

Republicans are criticizing the Biden administration for failing to secure the US border and introducing new border security legislation in response. 

The administration's policies have been viewed as contributing to the crisis, with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas requesting funding for "border management" instead of "border security."

The proposed legislation, the Border Reinforcement Act, would require the DHS secretary to resume constructing the border wall, with at least 900 miles at the southwest border, until operational control is achieved. The bill also aims to invest in technology upgrades for CBP officers and Border Patrol agents.

Republicans argue that the new legislation is necessary to address the border crisis and protect American communities.