Many people have rightly asked the question, “If these Migrants are seeking asylum from Guatemala or their home countries, why can’t they simply stay in Mexico once they get there?”
It’s a valid question.
In other words, this cartoon sums it up perfectly:
Until now, Mexico had not actually made that offer, so we didn’t know how it would play out.
But now we do, and the answer is OFFER REJECTED, they just want to come into the United States.
From NBC News:
Several thousand Central American migrants turned down a Mexican offer of benefits if they applied for refugee status and stayed in the country's two southernmost states, vowing to set out before dawn Saturday to continue their long trek toward the U.S. border.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto announced what he called the "You are at home" plan, offering shelter, medical attention, schooling and jobs to Central Americans in Chiapas and Oaxaca states if they applied, calling it a first step toward permanent refugee status. Authorities said more than 1,700 had already applied for refugee status.
But after one of the caravan's longest days of walking and hanging from passing trucks, the bulk of the migrants were boisterous Friday evening in their refusal to accept anything less than safe passage to the U.S. border.
"Thank you!" they yelled as they voted to reject the offer in a show of hands in the town of Arriaga. They then added: "No, we're heading north!"
Sitting at the edge of the edge of the town square, 58-year-old Oscar Sosa of San Pedro Sula, Honduras concurred.
"Our goal is not to remain in Mexico," Sosa said. "Our goal is to make it to the (U.S). We want passage, that's all."
Still 1,000 miles from the nearest U.S. border crossing at McAllen, Texas, the journey could be twice as long if the group heads for the Tijuana-San Diego frontier, as another caravan did earlier this year. Only about 200 in that group made it to the border.
While such migrant caravans have taken place regularly over the years, passing largely unnoticed, they have received widespread attention this year after fierce opposition from U.S. President Donald Trump.
And from Time:
More than a hundred Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields abandoned a blockade they had formed on a bridge Saturday, allowing a caravan of thousands of Central American migrants to advance toward the United States.
The officers ended the standoff after representatives from Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission told police that a rural stretch of highway without shade, toilets or water was no place for migrants to entertain offers of asylum in Mexico. Police boarded buses and headed further down the highway, while migrants cheered and vowed to trek all the way to the U.S. border.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto launched a program on Friday dubbed “You are home,” which promises shelter, medical attention, schooling and jobs to Central Americans who agree to stay in the southern Mexico states of Chiapas or Oaxaca.
Police commissioner Benjamin Grajeda said that authorities only blocked the highway Saturday to tell people about the government’s offer. “Here in this truck right now you can get help,” he said.
Thousands of migrants in the city of Arriaga rejected the plan Friday night, but said they could be willing to discuss it again once they reach Mexico City. Some fear they will be deported if they take advantage of the program.
The caravan is now trying to strike out for Tapanatepec, about 29 miles (46 kilometers) away after an arduous 60-mile (100 kilometer) journey to the city of Arriaga.