Migrants from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador are heading towards the United States. Last month,  the migrants arrived in Mexico. The path to the United States is dangerous, yet they will do everything they can to make it here. Estimates say they will begin to arrive at the border in a month and a half.

Why They’re Risking Their Lives?

First, these migrants are escaping poverty, persecution, and violence. Some are alone, and some are with family, even children. These migrants, referred to as a caravan, are risking their lives in search of a better life. The caravan is estimated to include more than 7,200 people, with more joining as they continue their travel.

Most of the migrants are seeking asylum, here, in the United States. In order to apply for asylum, a migrant must be physically in the U.S. Asylum is the process of seeking protection for an individual who is already in the U.S to stay in the U.S., for fear of persecution once they return home. The journey is treacherous but many migrants feel Asylum in the United States is their only option.

Can President Trump Cut Aid?

Recently, President Trump threatened to cut aid to Honduras, Guatemala and, El Salvador. He blames their governments for letting the migrants leave. The President cannot cut off aid to these countries on his own.

This fiscal year’s budget is already approved and the President cannot change it at this point. If Trump proposes cutting the budget, the plan must go through Congress.

In a series of tweets on October 18th, President Trump warned if Mexico does not stop the caravan, he would call on the U.S. military to “close” the southern border. He continues to use scare tactics as the basis for his immigration policy

Previously, his administration implemented a “zero-tolerance” policy to separate children from their families at the border claiming they were simply enforcing the law. However, this is false. There is a difference between policy and law. The administration is not enforcing the law as written. To enforce the law, individuals have to make decisions about how to enforce them.

These scare tactics will not discourage migration. These people are escaping turmoil and violence. They will seek whatever route they can to survive.

What is Mexico doing about the caravan?

Last week, Mexico’s government on October 18 said it was requesting support from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to help process refugee applications. It said anyone seeking to enter its country had to comply with immigration laws at authorized entry points.

Mexican officials said people entering the country illegally could face deportation. They said more than 1,000 migrants officially applied for refugee status in Mexico over the past three days. Officials also said they’re asking for help from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to process migrants seeking refugee status.

Midterms

With two weeks before the midterms, the President seized on this story to blame the Democrats. “Every time you see a Caravan,” he tweeted, “or people illegally coming, or attempting to come, into our Country illegally, think of and blame the Democrats for not giving us the votes to change our pathetic Immigration Laws! Remember the Midterms!”  Now with midterms over, we hear little to nothing about this “caravan” issue.

What Happens Next?

Not every member of the caravan will make it to the border. According to estimates, some will stay in Mexico. Even though the Mexican government says it will deport those who cross the border illegally. It is not possible for them to stop everyone.

Until the caravan reaches the U.S. border we will not know how this will end. Those seeking asylum can go to a port of entry or may choose to cross into the U.S. through other means. If they do not enter through a port of entry they can still legally request asylum even though the President is unlawfully attempting to change this law through executive order.

There is much litigation ahead and we should not blindly buy into the President’s rhetoric; the fabric of this nation is at stake.


Ask Henry Lim
Do you have a question for Henry Lim? During nearly 20 years of practicing law, he has helped more than 10,000 families with their immigration issues. You can Ask Henry a question at [email protected] or submit a video question by sending a link to one of our channels. For legal assistance, email or call for an appointment: 407-897-8870. Our first consultation is complimentary.