MEXICO CITY (CSU) —As Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador talks to North American presidents in Washington, a new migrant caravans walks out of the city of Tapachula.
Yesterday, a new group of people from the south came north. This is a reminder that there is an urgent need to address migration in the region. López Obrador hopes to talk about this when he meets with President Joe Biden today. About 2,000 people, mostly from Central America and Haiti, are in a caravan.
Alex Leyva, from Honduras, said that he was going to be traveling north again in a caravan. When he traveled last time, he got sick and had to drop out. Mexican immigration officers sent him back to Tapachula after starting the process of requesting asylum in Mexico.
My country is in a bad situation. There are no studies or education for the kids. That is why my wife and I decided to try to get a better life. The caravan Leyva had traveled with before was in southern Veracruz state, but it is down to only a few hundred people. It used to be 4,000 people strong. Luis Garcia Villagran from the Center for Human Dignity said that migrants want a document that allows them to be in all of Mexico. The Mexican government is doing this by putting them in southernmost parts of Mexico, where they are less likely to go to the U.S. border for help.
But the poorest states are in the south. But there is more opportunity for work in northern states. Villagran said that even migrants with the right kind of visa were stopped and sent back to Tapachula. Migrants who live near the border with Guatemala are unhappy. They say that they cannot find a job to support their families. The caravan began several years ago, but now Mexico and Guatemala are getting aggressive. They send out their army to stop the caravans. Now people don’t have a good way to go.
The caravan in Veracruz was the first to get this far into Mexico in two years. But many people got tired and left because they didn’t want to trek. The government also offers a way for migrants to become legal, but not everyone takes that offer.
López Obrador said that he wants to talk about migration at the North American Leaders Summit. He wants the U.S. to invest in a program that pays farmers to plant trees on their land. The money helps the rural people stay in their farming jobs instead of feeling pressure to move away and look for work elsewhere.
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