Originally just a few thousand migrants stormed across the Mexican border, tearing down gates and forcing their illegal entrance into the country. However, the caravan has grown substantially since then. A Mexican newspaper, having an up close and personal experience with the migrants, suggest the caravan has swelled to 14,000 strong.
“More than 14,000 Hondurans report in the migrant caravan,” El Universal reports. The newspaper notes that there are multiple waves of the caravan filing through Mexico. The first group, and those closing in on the American border, is reportedly over 7,000 strong. An additional 3,000 were seeking to cross the international bridge of Ciudad Hidalgo on Monday. Thousands more were documented in surrounding areas.
“Members of the illegal immigrant caravan chanted ‘si se pudo!’ as they made their way north through Mexico Monday,” Washington Times reports. “The chant, which translates roughly as ‘Yes we could,’ is a takeoff on the ‘Si se puede’ — Yes we can! — cheer that immigrant-rights activists have used for years.”
The migrants have made clear that they have no intention on staying in Mexico, but have their eyes set on the United States. The extent of publicity the caravan has received will undoubtedly test the resolve of President Trump. He has already voiced a threat to strip foreign aid to the countries where the migrants come from if this is allowed to proceed. Trump has additionally threatened to move the U.S. military to the border in order to deal with border crossers.
However, Trump has threatened to mobilize the military before and failed to act. If he does not mobilize the military this time around, his words will likely start to lose their weight.
It is questionable whether or not these migrants will qualify for refugee status. “One woman quoted by BBC, identified as Maria, walking with her husband and two children, said they are looking for work.” Washington Times reports. “That would put them in the category of illegal migrants, not asylum-seekers.”