Migrant caravan heads for US border
By James Blears
Weary of waiting for their migration status to be considered, assessed, and approved, the people of the caravan have set off from Tapachula, deep in the south of Mexico. Their numbers mostly consist of Central Americans, as well as Cubans, Venezuelans and Haitians. Numbering several thousand people, the size of the caravan is likely to swell. The poorest and most desperate people, many carrying babies and young children, as rain and then scorching sun beats down on their backs. Fortified by hope and faith, with huge distances to cover, many have little chance of breaching the tightened and bristling US border security, far to the north.
Summit of the Americas
Meanwhile, the Summit of the Americas is underway although the leaders of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua are excluded. Mexico`s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says he won`t attend commenting: "I believe in the need to change the policy of exclusion." The leaders of Bolivia, Honduras, Guatemala and Barbuda aren`t there either.
Swamped asylum system
Concerning the plight of the migrants, Mexico`s asylum system is swamped by the sheer numbers and weakened by insufficient job opportunities. In past months previous caravans have been stopped and turned back, with many put on flights with one-way tickets home or offered temporary residence in Mexico. But for most, their El Dorado, is the United States. As things stand, it`s a mostly unattainable and unreachable daydream... and nightmare.