The United States and Mexico are being faced with a serious immigration problem from the Central Americans seeking asylum. Most of the people migrating are from Honduras, a country that has become more and more violent throughout the years. Many Hondurans want to escape the gang related violence and activities. They want to have a job and earn a decent living. They decided to embark in a long journey walking from Honduras to Tijuana, Mexico. Even though they announced their final destination, the United States is calling it an invasion. There have also been remarks made that all of them are criminals trying to cross the border but that is far from the truth. The people who have travelled up Mexico include children and their mothers. However, there are too many people at the border as of now. The shelter at the border is overcrowded and the asylum seekers must wait to get processed and accepted if they ever do.
Both countries underestimated the effects of the caravan of immigrants. From one side the US is reacting inhumane to women and children and on the other side Mexico is struggling to help the migrants in their journey as well as stopping those who don’t respect the laws. The US Border Patrol used tear gas on a number of migrants trying to cross the border illegally. Many of them are getting impatient waiting to be the processed. However, it is still cruel to use tear gas on civilians who are not armed. Tear gas has been banned from the battlefields, yet the US is using it on individuals. It does not make sense. Tear gas may cause respiratory pain and tearing. Even though it wears off after some time, the experience is not forgotten.
It is only further damaging everyone. The United States has prided itself in being an immigrant country, since the pilgrims who abandoned Europe in search of a better life where they weren’t oppressed and free to practice their religious beliefs. A lot of things have changed since then. The immigrants of the time were able to prosper and establish a government by eventually separating from Great Britain.
Also, it is unrealistic to call their journey an invasion because the United States has asylum seeking requirements. People, who wish to apply for asylum, must come into the United States through one of the official entry points and is granted it if they manage to prove they fear harm by staying in their home country. According to US Citizenship and Immigration Services, it is a legal protection for individuals who can be harmed in their home country because of their race, religion, nationality, social group, or political opinion. Only upon being granted asylum can the person stay in the United States. Unfortunately, it is also true that there are gang members who are blending with the asylum seekers. They are most likely to be the ones to try and cross the border illegally because they know they will not be granted asylum. The entire caravan of migrants should not be judged based on the actions of the corrupt individuals.
The people who are living on the streets and shelter of Tijuana, Mexico have been struggling. It has become a humanitarian crisis because of the living conditions. Why? Tijuana’s mayor has stated he cannot afford to help the migrants much longer. He does not have the capital to feed the entire caravan. Some migrants have decided to return to their home country while others have decided to try and seek asylum in Mexico. Many of them were staying in Benito Juarez Shelter that took about 3000 people but there are many more arriving. The shelter was an open field where portable restrooms were set up and open-air showers. This place was tolerable until it started raining. In Tijuana, there is no storm drainage which floods the streets for days when it rains. This has made it difficult for the migrants to live in their tents or floors of the shelter. The cold temperatures, rain and wind has made it easy for many to get sick. The state government moved everyone to a new shelter in Matamoros which isn’t such a safe area. Also, it is 45 minutes by vehicle to the border, has no lights or running water, but there are still better conditions then the open field. They now have a roof over their head to shield from the rain. Many are grateful for the little they are given and don’t complain while other are getting frustrated with the situation.
Mexico, the United States and the world must take a deeper look into this situation. People cannot live in such conditions for long periods of time. Even if the city of Tijuana has attempted to help them, there isn’t much they can do. They do not have the resources available to respond to the needs of the caravan of migrants. This situation began not only because of gang violence in Honduras but also the political instability that the leaders have enticed. The state has made it easier for corrupt officials to remain in power.