It has been reported that Mexican officials have deported just under 12,000 migrants from the central-American caravan since they first entered the country on their way to the US. That number is set to expand after an incident involving around 500 migrants where the US border was stormed on mass in an attempt at illegal entry.
Approximately 500 migrants gathered on the Mexican side of the border to perform what seemed to be a pro-migrant demonstration. They carried pro-migration signs and chanted “we are not criminals, we are hard workers.” The demonstration, however, quickly turned from a peaceful one to a mass attempt to storm the gates and enter the United States illegally. Many were stopped before even making it past the first barrier on the Mexican side, while others managed to fully breach the border and were arrested on the American side.
After many migrants began throwing rocks at border protection agents, canisters of tear gas were thrown to stop the onslaught of migrants who were now attacking law enforcement. This has set off a cascade of outrage among many who claim the actions on behalf of the United States were unacceptable, however even Mexico’s government has acknowledged the severity of the migrants’ actions.
Mexico’s interior ministry said that it not only condemned these actions but stated the attempt worked against the interests of the migrants themselves. The Interior ministry of Mexico has said that “Far from helping their objectives”, the migrants’ actions had violated the legal migration framework and could have led to a “serious incident”.
This is absolutely correct, and through all of the noise about the US turning away vulnerable migrants who want nothing more than to escape violence, it’s important to keep in mind that Mexico offered the migrant caravan asylum, jobs, and healthcare in two of Mexico’s safer states. Were the migrants’ objective purely safety driven, Mexico’s offer would have been more than enough. However, less than 500 of the caravan members chose to take Mexico’s offer and continued towards the United States.
Many of the migrants who, pertinent to the deal struck between the US and Mexico, will be waiting in Mexico while their asylum claims are processed are complaining that living conditions in the city of Tijuana and Mexicali are poor. One man complained that he had no money to buy milk for his sick daughter. While it’s not correct to feel apathy in the face of misery, it is important to point out that that little girl would have health care and that man would have money had they taken Mexico’s offer.