A number of migrants from Central America are still attempting to reach the U.S.-Mexico border. Many of them had camped out in Guatemala near the Suchiate River that sits at the border of Mexico and Guatemala. 

However, the Mexican military is increasingly turning away groups of migrants, mostly from Honduras, while advising them to claim asylum in Guatemala rather than travelling through multiple nations. Guatemala’s government acknowledged that a large number of Honduran migrants arrived and were staying within their borders over the course of a week. 

Several conflicts escalated between national guard members and men who threw rocks at them. Soldiers in riot gear used tear gas to try to stop their advance. All of the migrants will be turned away and sent back to their home countries unless the local government can confirm their immigration status. Some who managed to cross into Mexico were detained and sent back shortly afterward. Mexico has tightened their controls on immigration under increased pressure from the United States and the Trump administration. Since a new immigration deal between the U.S. and Mexico was signed in June, Mexico has been taking more extreme measures to prevent the passage of large caravans and other forms of illegal immigration and crime

A few representatives from the migrant groups were allowed to present arguments to Mexico’s president that asked for passage through the country. They represent a caravan of approximately 3000 migrants who arrived at Mexico’s border in recent days. This is the first of the new year, and it has been called the 2020 caravan to distinguish this group from others who arrived last year. Members of the large group say that are experiencing health issues from the heat, and they left their hometowns to flee from poverty and violence. Mexico has attempted to allow many of the migrants to apply for asylum in their country, but they will not allow them near the U.S. border. Some of the migrants claim that the Mexican government is being disingenuous, and they are simply turning them away regardless of their claimed policy. Mexico has already allowed over 1000 migrants into their country, but acknowledged that some would be deported. 

Immigration laws and procedural problems

During the immigration process or when extended travel is expected in a country other than a person’s residence, documentation such as a work visa is normally required. Many migrants from Central America who have tried to avoid the legal process have been classified as “undocumented” because they lack the formal paperwork to allow them to stay in the United States and other countries legally. There has been a great deal of controversy and debate regarding whether avoiding immigration regulations is justified when a migrant claims to be exposed to violence or seek better economic opportunities. 

The states of Texas, Arizona, and California have dealt with numerous border security issues in the past two years as large waves of migrants approached with asylum claims. Some politicians have argued for immigration reforms and additional aid that would allow border law enforcement to handle the situation more efficiently and humanely. The issue is still ultimately unresolved and critics claim that migrants are needlessly suffering while politicians delay.

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