AUSTIN, Texas — The next caravan predicted last week may not materialize amid a fresh promise by Mexico — after a furtive diplomatic pressure campaign by the Biden administration — that its troops would not allow it to pass.
Through its official Twitter account, the Mexican embassy in Guatemala this week let the caravan organizers know that: “Mexico does not promote, nor will it allow the irregular entry of caravans of migrants into the national territory.”
🇲🇽 no promueve, ni permitirá el ingreso irregular de caravanas de personas migrantes a territorio nacional. @ConsulMexGuate @ConsulMexTeu @ConsulMexQue @ConsulMexSpa @embamexesa pic.twitter.com/zy8jtTwbh9— Embamex Guatemala (@EmbaMexGua) February 18, 2021
But despite significant Mexican counter-migration operations on behalf of the new U.S. administration, large numbers of migrants from around the world are still flowing into northern cities and towns along the border from Texas to California, powered by adrenaline from recent Biden moves to open the border wide, according to a CIS survey of Mexican media reporting.
They’re traveling instead to and through Mexico in small, discreet groups aided by smugglers as an alternative to the massive noisy caravans that Guatemala and Mexico have been forcefully breaking up over the past year under President Trump and now on behalf of the Biden administration for, as Reuters reported, “political expediency”.
In Tijuana, large numbers of aspiring immigrant border-crossers are arriving in small groups to take advantage of what they perceive as a soon-to-open border under Biden, which the media outlet Telemundo describes as a new “migratory phenomenon”.
“They are doing it not in a caravan, but in groups, in families,” Javier Algorri, undersecretary of immigration affairs for Baja State, told Telemundo on February 18. Back in Honduras, the media outlet quoted Juan Espinal in the town of Aramecina explaining that government disruptions of earlier caravans have him preparing for a journey north in a small group next month.
“I think it will be a small group. So one more can be mobilized better,” he said (in my rough translation). “Right now, just me and my daughter and maybe a friend.”
By Todd Bensman