At least 5,000 immigrants from Honduras are already in Mexico and on their way to the U.S. Now, another caravan is forming in El Salvador with plans to cross into U.S. soil. The caravan, which already contains hundreds, is expected to depart on its long journey next week, NBC News reports.
The new caravan from El Salvador plans to begin walking toward the U.S. next week. By then, the caravan could contain thousands more immigrants bound for U.S. soil. They will be only weeks behind a caravan whose numbers have been estimated to be as high as 7,500 that departed recently from Honduras.
The caravan includes a WhatsApp group containing 230 members. Official reports say that the caravan is comprised of immigrant families, many of which are traveling with children.
It’s not known at this time exactly what is motivating the group to head for the U.S. at this particular time, but it’s possible they were inspired by the Honduras caravan currently making its way through Mexico. The Honduras group was halted briefly at the Guatemala-Mexico border, but pushed through to begin making its way to the U.S.
Donald Trump has stated that the caravan is full of criminals and alleged earlier this week that Middle Easterners were among the groups of immigrants, a statement he has since changed. There is no evidence that any Middle Easterners are mixed in with the group of people from Central America, largely comprised of people from Honduras.
Trump has stated that he will use military force to stop the Honduras caravan at the U.S. border.
Caravan of over 7,000 Central American migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and— Kerry Mukai (@KerryMukai) October 23, 2018
El Salvador say they're fleeing poverty, persecution and gang violence. More migrants are expected to join on Tuesday. (October 22, 2018) pic.twitter.com/I37OGtjxqt
Homeland Security is closely monitoring the new caravan in El Salvador, according to The Hill. The caravan is expected to begin moving toward the U.S. on October 31.
Trump has already threatened Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala with cutting off their foreign aid because they did not “do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the U.S.”
Though Trump has repeatedly said the immigrants are “criminals,” there is no evidence to support this claim.
The foreign aid the U.S. gives these countries goes toward poverty reduction and violence prevention, according to Independent. The money is used for military training, counter-narcotics efforts, and agricultural subsidies.
By the time the caravan in El Salvador begins its long walk to the U.S., the caravan from Honduras will probably reach the U.S. border.
According to the Pentagon, there are currently 21,000 National Guard troops stationed at various points along the border in California, New Mexico, and Texas.