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Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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Organizers Behind Unlawful Migrant Caravans Remain a Mystery


The caravan in Mexico | Image by Reuters

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A caravan of around 11,000 potentially unlawful migrants departed the southwestern Mexican border city of Tapachula earlier this month, beginning a thousand-mile trek to the Texas border.

The caravan has reportedly disbanded as Mexican officials offered temporary visas to its members. Caravan organizer Luís Villagrán told Fox News that around 80% of the procession, or approximately 9,000 people, received a migratory multiple form (FMM), allowing them to temporarily travel freely in Mexico.

The caravan planned to travel along Mexico’s eastern coast, with Fox News claiming it would grow to around 15,000 people, making it the “largest ever.” Villagrán says those remaining in the caravan will still continue to try to make their way into the United States.

The largest number of people in the caravan came from Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua, but also included Haitians, Salvadorans, Hondurans, Guatemalans, and even citizens of India, Bangladesh, and several African countries.

Other than the visas to incentivize breaking away from the caravan, Mexican authorities initially mounted little resistance to the group. Organizers told Fox News that when the procession reached a checkpoint with Mexican National Guard, immigration officials, and state police, they were let through “freely.”

However, Mexican state police have now reportedly begun blocking northbound commercial buses at multiple bus stations, including the one in the Coahuila state capital of Saltillo. Mexican officers have been emptying unlawful migrants from trucks and vans at checkpoints on all roads leading into Coahuila’s border cities of Piedras Negras, across from Eagle Pass, and Acuna, across from Del Rio, according to reports from Mexican media.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott was at the border Friday, June 17, to get an update on ongoing border security efforts. After meeting with Operation Lone Star officials and national guard soldiers, Abbott spoke about the reported breaking up of the caravans in a press conference.

“Some evidence makes it seem as though the caravans are disbanding to some extent,” said Abbott. “Part of it is maybe because of a lack of resources. Part of it may be because of the weather. Part of it may be because of other conditions. That said, even if the caravans are breaking up, it doesn’t mean that the people who were a part of the caravans are not going to be trying to make it to the United States of America. It’s just that they may be making it here in ones or twos as opposed to large caravans.”

The governor added that the Mexican police’s effort to block buses resulted from his agreements with the Mexican governor of Coahuila.

“There are some other reasons why the caravans are breaking up, and that is as a consequence of the agreements that I reached with the governors of Mexico, where they are doing their part to help secure the border from the Mexico side of the border,” said Abbott.

“I wished we weren’t sending anybody anywhere,” he continued. “And the only reason why we’re having to put people on buses and send them to Washington, D.C. is because the Biden administration is not only not doing their job, but … is apprehending people who cross the border illegally and then dumping them in cities that have no capability of handling them whatsoever.”

When the caravan was apparently being allowed to travel freely, Abbott’s office began reaching out to the Mexican governors to remind them of the agreements and the possibility that trade could be slowed again “if it becomes clear they are allowing it to occur and are doing nothing to stop it,” according to a report from the Center for Immigration Studies.

The Mexican newspaper El Siglo de Torreon reported that the Coahuila government subsequently began interpreting the temporary visas as valid anywhere in Mexico except the northern border. Mexico’s federal immigration service has accepted that interpretation, warning trucking companies all over Mexico not to sell tickets to members of the caravans.

Despite appearing to have mostly fallen apart, this caravan will likely not be the last one this year, as several begin the weeks-long trek to the U.S. annually. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says it is common for them to fail to reach the U.S. border.

“CBP receives reports of caravans looking to head to the United States several times a year. The journey on foot from places like Tapachula to the Southwest border could take several weeks, and these groups often fail to make it all the way to the border,” a DHS spokesperson said in an email to The Dallas Express. “DHS will continue to monitor developments in coordination with our foreign and interagency counterparts, as we have with previous caravans.”

“As we have been doing every day, DHS will continue to secure the Southwest border through the actions of our highly trained personnel, supported by sophisticated ground and aerial monitoring systems, and robust intelligence and information sharing networks,” the spokesperson added.

The organizer who spoke to Fox News could not be reached for comment. DHS, as well as Border Patrol, and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), did not respond to questions from The Dallas Express about who else organizes or funds caravans. They also declined to answer whether organizing the caravan in the first place violates U.S. law.

Curiously, media reports on caravans do not typically mention who funds or organizes them.

Republican candidate for Texas Senate District 24, Pete Flores, said that any groups organizing a caravan with the intention of crossing the U.S. border should be prosecuted.

“Any organizations that are engaged in criminal activities and [are] profiting from them — human trafficking, transnational gangs, anything and anybody who is complicit in engaging in organized criminal activity, especially in the exploitation of innocent people — should be prosecuted,” said Flores.

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3 months ago

I have no doubt it’s George Soros.

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