Most of the migrants traveling through Mexico towards the United States are from Central America, and many of them are upset because Mexico will not let them into Mexico. Under pressure from President Donald Trump, Mexico is standing up to their responsibility to stop migrants at Mexico’s southern border.
Because Trump threatened tariffs on Mexico, the Mexican government placed thousands of National Guard troops on the border between Mexico and Guatemala. The troops are blocking all caravans that are attempting to travel through Mexico.
One such caravan is a group of several thousands of migrants from Africa. Since they were stopped in southern Mexico, they formed an organization and titled it the Assembly of African Migrants. They are from several countries in Africa, including the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Cameroon, and other African nations. They are criticizing the way they are treated by Mexican officials and are demanding passage to the United States. They blame “Western powers” for creating the conditions in their own nations that forced them to flee to other countries.
We, the people of African origin, forced to remain [at] Tapachula, suffer an unbearable humanitarian situation related to nurture, housing and hygiene; as well as systematic discrimination by immigration authorities. Since we left our countries, for us life has been a permanent escape. We feel despair, hopelessness, fear, demoralization, loneliness and abandonment.
There were four times as many Africans traveling through Mexico to reach the United States in 2018 as there were five years previously. The number tripled in the first four months of 2019. They are fleeing the instability of their home countries and trying to find refuge. They are seeking refuge in America with or without consent of the American government.
I have no doubt that they are in unpleasant circumstances, but I see no reason why the Mexico or the United States should answer their demands. They should be making demands of whoever financed their trip across the ocean to South America. They did not swim across the Atlantic or the Pacific Oceans. If they have the money to travel, why do they not use it to improve the situation in their homelands? If they are so poor, how could they afford passage on a ship or airplane? It makes no sense for they to cross oceans and travel so far on land with no encouragement or help. Who is encouraging them to migrate? Who is paying the bill?