THEY BEGAN SHOWING up the first weekend of October, hundreds of immigrant families deposited in Yuma and Tucson, Arizona. They came, almost entirely, from Central America, some seeking asylum, some seeking work, all hoping for a better life in the United States. They were parents with children of all ages. Some of the women were pregnant.
Thousands of migrants — men, women, entire families — had wandered into town the day before, many on foot, and turned the humble commercial district into a vast makeshift encampment. They had filled every square foot of the plaza, including its bandshell, and jammed the sidewalks and storefronts, sprawling on cardboard, blankets, plastic sheeting and spare clothes.
But the reality is that for now, Trump can do little more than complain.
It was a call to join a caravan, the work of leftist activists and politicians who had helped lead migrants north in the past. But they also tossed a political spark into the mix, blaming their right-wing government for the exodus: “The violence and poverty is expelling us.”
It was Oct. 12. She and her cousin had just opened a small business selling tortillas when they were confronted by a gang, threatened with death if they didn’t hand over half of their profits. She looked at the Facebook post: “An avalanche of Hondurans is preparing to leave in a caravan to the United States. Share this!” Within three hours, her bags were packed.
“I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught – and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
“The United States has strongly informed the President of Honduras that if the large Caravan of people heading to the U.S. is not stopped and brought back to Honduras, no more money or aid will be given to Honduras, effective immediately!” Trump said on Twitter.
A group of more than 300 Central American migrants – remnants of what started as a more than 1,000-person caravan in Tapachula, Mexico – arrived at Tijuana’s border in April, many hoping to cross into the United States to seek asylum. Their arrival incited the wrath of the Trump administration.
The Trump administration’s crackdown at the US-Mexico border — which culminated in widespread separation of families — started when President Donald Trump freaked out about a “caravan” of hundreds of Central American migrants crossing through Mexico to seek asylum.