Politics

Another Migrant Wave Forms on Honduran-Guatemalan Border

President Donald Trump compares situation to 'total mess' in Europe resulting from Middle Eastern refugees

Image Credit: ORLANDO ESTRADA/AFP/Getty Images

Get ready for the next wave of marching migrants.

A second caravan of migrants is forming at the Honduran-Guatemalan border, ready to follow the path cut by one that left earlier this month and now is in Mexico, as The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

The newspaper reported that Guatemalan authorities initially estimated the second group at about 1,000 people and growing. It estimated the current count is about 2,500.

The first caravan, meanwhile, now has about 7,000 people, according to various estimates.

The goal of both groups appears to be the same: Get to the United States by any means necessary. Participants have described high crime and a lack of job opportunities in their home countries.

The giant mass of Central Americans moving together offers the most visible sign of America’s broken immigration system. The government itself provided another example on Tuesday, when it reported that illegal border crossings jumped 25 percent from fiscal year 2017 to fiscal year 2018.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday compared the situation to the crush of Middle Eastern refugees that Germany has taken over the past few years.

“For those who want and advocate for illegal immigration, just take a good look at what has happened to Europe over the last 5 years,” he tweeted. “A total mess! They only wish they had that decision to make over again.”

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez on Tuesday appealed to his countrymen to return home and promised economic assistance if they do, according to the Spanish-language newspaper La Prensa.

“We face a historical situation that demands to act with responsibility and a high patriotic spirit, through which there are lives,” Hernandez said, according to the paper.

But neither caravan shows any signs of turning back.

Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.) said that he visited Honduras three weeks ago and saw first-hand the poor living conditions many people face.

“The problem is that these are extremely poor countries,” he told LifeZette. “They have very high levels of violence; also, a high level of government corruption.”

But Byrne said Trump is right to take a hard line against the admission of Central Americans in the caravan. He said he sympathizes with the travelers’ desperation.

Related: Caravan Aiders and Abettors Can Be Charged, Says Former DOJ Prosecutor

“But it’s just not acceptable for those countries to hemorrhage this many people out. Of course, you look at the pictures of the crowds, and they seem to be mainly young males. So we’re beginning to wonder, all right, who are these people?” he said.

“Are these desperate people, or are these people trying to get into our country to do things that are truly criminal? Because these don’t look like families that are coming up because they’re starving. They look like a different group of people altogether,” he said.

Byrne added that he would support sending more National Guard personnel to the border to prevent the migrants from crossing into the U.S.

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, told “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday that the caravans reveal deeper flaws in the U.S. immigration system.

“The caravan is a symbol of broken promises and failed policies by the Democrats,” she said. “Every single Democratic senator has signed onto the [Sen. Dianne] Feinstein idea for open borders.”

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