On Saturday, thousands of Central American caravan migrants rejected an offer by Mexico to provide benefits such as shelter, medical care, schooling and jobs if they applied for refugee status in the country.
Although authorities said 1,700 migrants have already applied for refugee status in Mexico, several thousand rejected the offer in a vote by a show of hands in the town of Arriaga on Friday evening. They vowed to continue heading north to reach the U.S.
“Our goal is not to remain in Mexico,” one migrant said, the Washington Examiner reports. “Our goal is to make it to the (U.S). We want passage, that’s all.”
The rejection by the migrants complicates the matter for the United States and President Donald Trump, who has already directed the military to prepare for the migrants’ arrival at the southern border. President Trump during his 2016 campaign implied that it was Mexico’s fault for not caring for the refugees that come into its borders and instead sends them to the United States.
While Mexico has not explicitly agreed to grant entry for the caravan migrants, the migrants from Central America have illegally intruded the Mexican border by the thousands, with Mexico finding no way to control its own border. Mexico has now made some sort of an effort to help the Central American migrants remain in Mexico, and that plea was rejected. Perhaps it is time for the United States and Mexico to work on securing Mexico’s southern border and bring Central American countries to to the table to ensure their stability as a precursor to prevent migrants leaving the country in the first place.
It is in Mexico and the United States’ best interest, and the two countries have recently been on the same page at the negotiation table. Maybe President Trump can work with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Central American stability. That would allow him to claim a huge victory on the immigration issue.