This Update On The "Migrant Caravan" Means Good News For Some Of The Travelers
Early Tuesday morning, President Trump started tweeting about the migrant caravan moving through Mexico to the U.S. border. He threatened, "The big Caravan of People from Honduras, now coming across Mexico and heading to our 'Weak Laws' Border, had better be stopped before it gets there." But as this update on the migrant caravan shows, they did stop — for a good reason.
The caravan stopped Monday in the small Mexican town of Matias Romero in the southern state of Oaxaca, The Washington Post reported. There, the migrants slept in the open and started planning their next moves — none of which seem to be storming the southern U.S. border with Mexico.
Irineo Mujica, director of Pueblo Sin Fronteras, the activist group behind the event, said that it was only meant to be symbolic. “The idea was never for this group of people to reach the border. It was more to achieve a sensible and clear solution," Mujica told the Associated Press.
There has never been a march this size at 1,150. There are lots of kids on the march, and organizers were worried about potential sickness. "We have never seen a march of this size. It is unmanageable," Mujica added.
Early Tuesday, BuzzFeed News also reported that Mexico’s National Institute of Immigration had stated it would break up the caravan and accept asylum requests from the most vulnerable among the group, particularly pregnant women, those with disabilities, and people with illnesses like HIV.
Trump also commented on the caravan on Easter Sunday and again on Monday. None of his tweets seemed to grasp the what was happening with the caravan, or how the country's immigration laws work.
On Monday, Trump tweeted, "As ridiculous as it sounds, the laws of our country do not easily allow us to send those crossing our Southern Border back where they came from. A whole big wasted procedure must take place. Mexico & Canada have tough immigration laws, whereas ours are an Obama joke. ACT CONGRESS."
Those comments drew criticism on Twitter. Judd Legum, editor of Think Progress, a liberal media site, noted that the Fifth Amendment is one of the reasons why. "The 'ridiculous' law Trump is referring to is called the FIFTH AMENDMENT: 'No person shall ... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,'" Legum wrote.
On Sunday, Trump first drew attention to the caravan when he criticized the "catch and release" policy that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement uses to prioritize who is detained and deported from the country. But that is a policy that applies to people who have already entered the country or presented themselves for asylum.
It's also legally necessary. Judicial rulings limit how long immigrants can be detained (especially women and children), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement has a shortage of beds to detain immigrants that are arrested without legal status in the United States. But Trump railed against the policy anyway. He wrote:
Border Patrol Agents are not allowed to properly do their job at the Border because of ridiculous liberal (Democrat) laws like Catch & Release. Getting more dangerous. “Caravans” coming. Republicans must go to Nuclear Option to pass tough laws NOW. NO MORE DACA DEAL!
The last line of Trump's tweet threw the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) into the mix, something that also is a bit out of left field, given that no one in the caravan is eligible.
On Tuesday, Trump once again tied the entire ordeal to NAFTA, even though Mexican immigration authorities have stopped the group. "Cash cow NAFTA is in play, as is foreign aid to Honduras and the countries that allow this to happen. Congress MUST ACT NOW!"
This update may cool Trump down, but the president must not be up to date on what's happening.