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Migrant Caravan Headed for the U.S. Stopped in Guatemala

A group of Central American migrants headed to the U.S.-Mexico border were recently stopped by authorities in Guatemala in attempts to help deter more migrants coming to the United States’ southern border.

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    The Caravan

    A group of several hundred migrants who were on the march to the U.S. border from Central America were recently stopped at the border province of Izabel, Guatemala.

    The 300 migrants was intercepted by authorities in Guatemala who then proceeded the immigration process of returning each to their country of origin. Some migrants were allowed to remain in Guatemala provided that they could submit a valid personal identification document, the necessary vaccination card, and a negative COVID-19 test.

    Of the hundreds detained, 36 individuals were deported back to Honduras as they did not meet the necessary requirements to remain in Guatemala. Only a group of 10 were able to meet the immigration and health requirements to continue their journey.

    migrant border camp

    Why People are Fleeing

    The migrant caravan formed as a safer and cheaper alternative for migrants fleeing hardship in Central America to travel to the United States without falling prey to smugglers and the dangers of drug cartels. Originally 600 members in size, the migrant group decided to divide themselves into several smaller groups in an effort to evade authorities as they trek across different border crossings and other illegal routes.

    The caravan aims to make it to the U.S. border with Mexico where they hope to enter the United States for a better life and free from the problems plaguing their home countries such as gang and cartel violence.

    In recent years, Central American countries such as Nicaragua and Honduras, have been badly hit by climate disasters such as floods and droughts which have further put a strain on these countries’ governments which already struggled with social and economic problems and rampant corruption.

    What Awaits Them at the Border

    More migrants are fleeing Central American countries every day in the hopes of starting a new life in the United States. However, those migrants who have journeyed so far are often met with disappointment once they reach the U.S.-Mexico border.

    From September 2020 to September 2021, the U.S. Border Patrol has reported over 1.6 million encounters with migrants at the southern border which is more than four times more than that of the previous fiscal year. As more migrants seek entry into the United States, the crisis at the border worsens as the U.S. becomes overwhelmed with asylum applications.

    It is the U.S. government’s hope that countries such as Mexico and Guatemala help the United States deter the journeys of migrant caravans from reaching the border by implementing more surveillance and enforcing immigration and border controls in an effort to help alleviate the crisis growing at the U.S.’s southern border.

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