According to Reuters, more than a thousand migrants set off on a long trek to the United States on Saturday, joining forces in San Pedro Sula, Honduras for the “March of the Migrant” walk.
Only a few days after Vice President Mike Pence met with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez and urged him to get his illegal immigration problem under control, the migrants organized their caravan in hopes of getting to America, claiming asylum, and throwing themselves on the mercy of the Trump administration.
“I believe we’ll get to the United States. There’s no work in Honduras, and you live in fear that they’re going to kill you or your children,” 35-year-old Fanny Barahona told Reuters.
The plan, according to march organizer Bartolo Fuentes, is to trek through Guatemala into Mexico, where the hundreds of participants will apply for refugee status. If granted that status, they will be able to either stay in the country or apply for a visa that would let them move on into the United States.
Of course, that’s not to say that many of them won’t attempt to cross the border into the U.S. surreptitiously and hope to avoid Border Patrol. Even if they are detained, they will be able to apply for U.S. asylum, although the Trump administration is not giving away that status like candy, as opposed to some previous presidents who will go unmentioned.
In his meeting with Hernandez on Thursday – which also included meetings with representatives from Guatemala and El Salvador – Pence said that Honduras would have to crack down on the flow of migrants to the U.S. if they wanted to access more American aid.
“If you do more, I’m here to say on behalf of the President of the United States and the American people – we’ll do more,” Pence said.
Unfortunately, saying we need Honduras to do “more” is understating the problem considerably. As Pence pointed out at the meeting in Washington, the flow of illegal immigrants from the country is up 61% over the past year.