The caravan of immigrants seeking to cross the border between México and the United States should motivate a reflection on the inhuman conditions that tend to drive illegal migration, as well as border regulation policies of those countries that become forced destinations of that migration.
It is a complex global issue that governments and international organizations should address in order to put an end to poverty and injustice that result in tragedy.
The United States has the immediate monumental challenge of addressing the dilemma of the uninvited caravan. It lacks the delicate balance of asserting the right to regulate the entry to its territory, but it should be done with sensitivity.
Central American governments should also assume their responsibility. With their actions and omissions, these countries have endangered the lives and safety of their own people.
Caravans like the one that today captures international attention, arise seasonally. The current one left Honduras last Saturday 13 with hundreds of people that soon became thousands. They mainly flee from the violence caused by drug-trafficking that, along with poverty and unemployment, suffocates the so-called North Central American triangle, which includes Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Reports indicate that Honduras ended last year with a rate of almost 43 murders per 100,000 inhabitants. On their journey to the north, hundreds of people have joined the march, estimated in more than 7,000 men and women, including children, pregnant women and the elderly.
These caravans are not spontaneous. They have been convened by organizations with agendas that, in their eagerness to break the legitimate right of every country to grant entries or asylums, use the people's despair. Moved by the dream of a better future, these migrants leave the little they have behind to start an uncertain and dangerous journey.
The United States reacted threating to cut off funding to countries of the migratory wave route. Since 2014, part of the US assistance was devoted to the Alliance for Prosperity, directed to slow down the flow of migrants towards that country. These funds sought to develop initiatives that would reduce violence and create better opportunities in the nations of the Triangle. Results have not been evident. The Trump administration has reduced those aid packages.
Now, despite the mobilization of security forces on each border, the march has managed to break through Central America heading north.
President Donald Trump threatens to send the Army to the US border to prevent their entry. He is taking advantage of the situation to stoke his followers in the intense campaign towards the November 6 mid-term elections. His administration tightened immigration policies with the Zero Tolerance decree that deals with any unauthorized entry under the penal system. In June and responding to criticism, Trump ordered the end of the policy of forced family separation for detained immigrants. It has been a difficult task to reunite thousands of children with their parents, due to the lack of information on the location of many children.
There are no simple solutions to the complex and painful drama of illegal immigration. But passion polarizes it even further.
As it happens across the globe, the United States experiences a challenge that, in addition to being political and legal, is ethical. Solutions must overcome the delicate balance between the protection of thousands of people in high vulnerability conditions and the right of countries to regulate access through their borders.
In the medium and long-term, solutions that address the problem from its root in the countries of origin, are urgently needed, with fair policies that will ensure their citizens security, peace and democracy. The government of these nations and human rights organizations are convened to have a dialogue.
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