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Watch Massive Migrant Caravan Push North Into Mexico as US Reports Record Apprehensions

© Photo : Twitter / @disclosetvScreengrab of video of migrant caravan traveling through southern Mexico after leaving Tapachula, Mexico on route to country's capital.
Screengrab of video of migrant caravan traveling through southern Mexico after leaving Tapachula, Mexico on route to country's capital. - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.10.2021
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The crisis on the US-Mexico border has turned into one of the biggest challenges facing the Biden administration. Last month, a Quinnipiac poll found that just 23 percent of Americans approved of the president’s handling of the issue. Many others, including former president Donald Trump, have accused Joe Biden of causing the debacle.
Footage reportedly coming out of Tapachula, Mexico shows what looks like thousands of migrants marching through the southern Mexican border city on their way north to the country’s capital and possibly on to the US.
Some of the people in the caravan appeared to be carrying large banners and signs, some of them including President Biden’s name on them, and others demanding “peace and justice” and safe haven from “repression.”
At one point along the route, the caravan could be seen slamming into a wall of riot gear-clad agents with shields from Mexico’s migration services under a bridge, pushing through them like a hot knife through butter and continuing on their route.
The caravan appears to be highly organised, with migrants – reportedly consisting mostly of nationals of the so-called northern triangle countries of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, but also Haiti – sharing a special QR code linking to an online consent form saying that the participant agrees to pay their own travel expenses. The march reportedly began after migrants concentrated in Tapachula became frustrated waiting for refugee status from Mexican authorities. The caravan is thought to be on its way toward Mexico City, and if refugee status is not granted there, is expected to continue north to the US border.
Mexican officials have blamed delays in the provision of refugee status to “overwhelmed capacity,” and calculated last month that the country’s commission for refugee assistance expects to receive over 100,000 applications this year.
Caravan leader Irineo Mujica has given interviews to media discussing the caravan’s demands and concerns, accusing the Biden administration of herding people “like cattle” and asking the Mexican government to give them an opportunity to settle and work in the country.
“I think [the Biden administration] is just in denial of their own faults. They haven’t been able to handle immigration. If I tell you the truth, I believe that at least with Donald Trump we knew what we had. With Biden we don’t know. He doesn’t seem to have a clue what to do with immigration, because he says one thing and does another…He promised immigration reform, he hasn’t done it. He promised he was going to take care of the migrants, he hasn’t done it,” Mujica complained.
Record Apprehensions
On Friday, US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) announced that its agents had made over 192,000 migrant encounters in the month of September, with the total number of encounters in fiscal year 2021 topping 1.7 million – surpassing the previous record of 1.64 million set in the year 2000.
Agents said about 61 percent of those encountered were expelled back into Mexico or their nation of origin using Title 42 – a Trump-era policy put in place in March 2020 on Covid-related public health grounds - and thus far kept in place by Biden.
President Biden’s detractors have blamed his administration for the border crisis. Soon after stepping into office in January, Biden revoked as series of hardline immigration policies set by his predecessor, including the "Remain in Mexico" programme and Trump’s signature border wall. Biden also hinted at reforms to provide a "path to citizenship" for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the US, and promised to “restore and expand” the asylum system.
Central American leaders, including the presidents of Mexico and Guatemala, have accused Biden of effectively encouraging migrants and human smugglers to make the dangerous trek to the US with his policies and statements, while GOP officials, including Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, blasted Biden for creating a “humanitarian and national security crisis” via what she said was effectively an “open border” policy rife for human and drug smuggling.
Earlier this week, Fox News reported that CBP seizures of the pain medication Fentanyl shot up by thousands of percentage points over the years, from just two pounds between 2012-2013 to over 7,200 pounds in the first eight months of 2021.
At a CNN town hall on Thursday, Biden said he would like to eventually visit the border with Mexico, but complained that he just hasn’t “had a hell of a lot of time to get down [there]” due to his busy schedule. On Friday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki stressed that Biden was perfectly familiar with the border, pointing to a campaign trip to Texas he took back in 2008.
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