New wave of migrants puts US and other countries to the test
By David E. Sanger and Tom Hamburger
8 February 2014
Migrant caravans, traveling in vast numbers, have been pouring into northern Mexico from Central America in recent weeks and are expected to reach its southernmost city of Chiapas before the end of this month.
Many of the new arrivals—including children and teenagers—have been heading to the southern state of Chiapas, where many impoverished parents sell or beg for a daily minimum of $1.50.
Their arrival has caught the attention of the southern states, which have been struggling to cope with the flow of migrants from Central America. The situation is likely to become even worse over the next three weeks, with a large influx expected along the border with Mexico.
On January 22nd, the Texas-based Rio Chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) held a press conference in which it announced that the U.S. consulate in Monterrey, in the northern state of Nuevo Leon, would be temporarily shutting down. According to Mexican officials, up to 500 mostly Central American migrants have been arrested in the last two days at the border. The migrants were traveling with the intention of seeking asylum in the United States.
The Mexican government has denied those claims. There are no signs of mass illegal immigration at the border, and no reports of violence or clashes at the border.
“The [U.S.] government is making a great effort to send in extra troops and personnel to the border. But people have begun to leave the border in droves,” said Mexican President Felipe Calderón.
The crisis, however, is not just the result of immigration alone. It is the culmination of decades of immigration policy, under Republican administrations, that has been the creation of open borders and cheap labor.
It is the culmination of policies that pushed millions of Mexicans into poverty in search of jobs and a better life for their children.
In fact, the real driving force behind the migration is the growing population of people in the United States. The current annual U.S. population of 3.