La Oferta

December 3, 2023

Many caravan migrants believe Trump will allow them US entry

La segunda caravana de migrantes hondureños que atraviesa Guatemala retoma su recorrido hacia Guastatoya desde Zacapa (Guatemala) hoy, miércoles 24 de octubre de 2018, con Estados Unidos como destino final. Más de 7 mil migrantes hondureños ya caminan por territorio mexicano camino a la frontera del Norte. EFE

Huixtla, Mexico, Oct 24 (EFE).- Putting their faith in God, and despite the harsh rhetoric of Donald Trump, many in the huge caravan of migrants heading northwards through Mexico believe that the president will allow them to cross into the US because it will give him a success that will help him in the midterm elections.

“These hikes of kilometers and days; everything has its price in life. But Donald Trump is going to understand, when we’re on the border, that we’re not criminals. We’re human beings and we’re the best workers,” Cesar, a 24-year-old Honduran who set out with the caravan on Oct. 13 from San Pedro Sula, told EFE.

Cesar wants to study journalism. Perhaps because of that he knows more than most of his fellow travelers about current politics.

For example, he knows that Trump is a “magnate,” but he considers him to be “human just like us,” arguing that many US “industries” need migrants to increase their production.

But the majority of the caravan migrants are practically blind to most current news. They are unaware of the heated rhetoric that the US leader has leveled against them.

Launching verbal broadsides against the caravan, on Monday Trump warned via Twitter – with no apparent basis – that criminals and “unknown Middle Easterners” were traveling with the migrants toward the southern US border.

Trump “is an excellent guy,” Kember Benjamin, a 21-year-old Honduran, told EFE, adding that he thinks that he and the other caravan members will keep going until they set foot in the US, no matter what.

“They say he’s a bad guy. I think he has his issues, but he will let us cross (the border),” said another man named Cesar, 40, who is confined to a wheelchair but is keeping pace with the caravan despite his situation.

Juan Manuel, another Honduran migrant, embraces a maxim on which many of the members of this massive exodus from the poverty and violence in Honduras – most of whom seem to be deeply religious – agree.

“I say to the president to open his heart because we’re fulfilling our dream: looking for work. In Honduras there’s no work and no food, so we want to work in the US,” said the 24-year-old who has relatives both in Honduras and the US, adding that this is his fourth attempt to make it across the border.

Cesar, who worked at a community radio station, said that in any case it is Jesus Christ who has the last word in the matter: “It may be that (Trump) has millions (of supporters) but there’s nothing greater than the blessed King.”

The migrants ignore the fact that Trump in recent days has made the caravan one of his favorite whipping boys in the run-up to the Nov. 6, midterms, using the threat of a migrant “invasion” to stoke fear among the Republican base and get them to the polls.

In addition, he has promised to substantially cut aid to Central American countries that failed to stop the caravan from getting under way or passing through their territory.

Many analysts do think that the caravan issue could help the president and his party’s legislative candidates in the elections by turning out the Republican vote.

“Despite what many people may think, it provides elements for building his discourse of fear,” said Eduardo Gonzalez, a migration expert at the Monterrey Institute of Technology in Guadalajara, told EFE.