Uncertainty and frustration in the Migrant Caravan
Thousands of immigrants reached the final point of their trek to enter the United States - a closed border and an intransigent U.S. administration has them asking themselves, ‘now what?’
What once was perceived as an "organized" caravan of migrants in Central America is now a camp of desperate families uncertain of where to turn.
Violence and poverty back home was the catalyst that drove thousands of people to walk weeks to reach Mexico, hoping to come across an opportunity while on the road, or to make it even further north, to seek asylum in the United States.
The reality has been drastically different.
Between confrontations with the Border Patrol fueled by desperation, floods in the camps, and near total lack of knowledge about what procedures to follow, immigrants are now anchored in uncertainty.
A New York Times report explained that many immigrants expected "Mr. Trump would be moved by their difficult situation" and would give in to their asylum claims. However, his government has done just the opposite.
Many realized this when they were turned away from the border with tear gas bombs - they found themselves under a torrential rain, and their health conditions worsened as a result.
"In light of the week’s events, and Mr. Trump's continuing tough rhetoric, the migrants have started re-evaluating their options amid growing frustration and desperation," the Times explained. "Hundreds have called it quits and signed up to be voluntarily repatriated to their homelands."
Others have resorted to the help of the Mexican government, but some have decided to tempt fate, attempting to cross the border illegally.
On Monday, several Honduran immigrants tried to climb the fence that separates the United States from Mexico. As reported by the Daily Mail, the reaction is a product of “the frustration and exhaustion" of individuals who feel "stuck in squalid camps in the Mexican border city of Tijuana."
Those who made the decision expected to be trapped, thus thinking they would be able to request asylum while on American soil. But the refusal of the new Mexican government to maintain the recent agreement between the governments of both countries, in which Mexico agreed to house immigrants in the border area while their asylum applications are evaluated in U.S. courts, would hinder this strategy.
According to CBS News, "the border sector in San Diego has experienced a slight increase in families entering the United States illegally and voluntarily surrendering to border agents."
Customs and Border Protection Service (CBP) made this data public, and also added that immigrants took this alternative after feeling “frustrated” by the long wait to apply for asylum.
The government is currently processing only 100 cases per day.