Why Did The Immigrant Caravan Leave Honduras? [Opinion]

John MooreGetty Images

Donald Trump has been screaming about the wave of immigrants trying to get into the U.S. from Honduras. They’ve been on the move for days, and as of Friday evening, they are stopped at the Guatemala-Mexico border.

Trump has threatened military action and more against the caravan, which has swelled to more than 4,000 people. Mexico is putting up strong resistance to the caravan, and used police force on Friday to successfully stop a large group from entering the country. Some jumped into the river in a desperate bid to get across the border or get away from police pepper spray.

Trump has raged against the caravan on Twitter, and threatened to cancel a proposed trade deal with Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. if Mexico does not secure their southern border, according to the Washington Times.

“The assault on our country at our Southern Border, including the criminal elements and DRUGS pouring in, is far more important to me, as president, than trade or the USMCA,” Trump tweeted.

“A fairly big percentage of those people are criminals, and they wanna come into our country, and they’re criminals, and it’s not happening under my watch,” Trump said, as reported by NBC News.

Trump has provided no proof of his claims, and there is no evidence whatsoever to support them. Mostly, the people who left Honduras days ago to walk more than 1,000 miles to get to the U.S. are fleeing the crime in their home country.

CIUDAD TECUN UMAN, GUATEMALA - OCTOBER 19: Members of the migrant caravan are pushed forward into Mexican riot police on the border between Mexico and Guatemala on October 19, 2018 in Ciudad Tecun Uman, Guatemala. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Featured image credit: John MooreGetty Images

Gang violence, corruption, human trafficking, and drug trafficking are huge problems in Honduras, and the people now walking toward the U.S. are trying to get away from all that.

When asked by the media, many of the fleeing Hondurans are saying there is no work for them. They’re coming to the U.S. in search of jobs. Like so many Americans, what they want is jobs.

How bad is it? The New Yorker wrote about Jose Luis Hernandez recently. Hernandez, 32, was born in Honduras. He made three attempts to get to the U.S. At 16, after being threatened by some Honduran gangsters, he traveled to Mexico with two other boys. They were attacked and robbed at the Mexican border and ultimately taken into custody by Mexican authorities.

He was sent back to Honduras. Two years later, he tried to get to the U.S. again. This time, he made it into Mexico and onto a freight train. He fell from the train and lost his arm, half of one of his legs and part of his remaining hand.

He was sent back to Honduras again.

It took him two years to recover from the train accident. Once he did, he started planning a third trip to the U.S.

“There aren’t any other options,” he said.

Hernandez did finally make it to America, and in 2015 crossed the border into Texas with a group calling themselves the Caravan of the Mutilated.

Thousands more now wait to get into Mexico, and get through it to reach the U.S. on the other side. Donald Trump is willing to do anything to stop them.

And yet, they still would rather be here than in Honduras.