A Second Major Migrant Caravan of 10K Could Head Toward the U.S. as Leaders Meet in Mexico

A Mexican activist leading a caravan of over 1,000 Central American migrants announced that his group expects to meet up with a caravan that's 10 times larger, Border Report writes. The two aim to converge and then proceed toward the U.S.-Mexico border.

The organizer, Irineo Mujica, said that the caravans expect to meet in Veracruz on November 18. From there, they will head toward the Arizona-Mexico border. This deviates from the original plan to end this journey—which started near the border of Guatemala—in Mexico City.

"We are not going to Mexico City, we are now going the northern border, we are going to Sonora," Mujica said this week in a video posted to social media that was reported on by Border Report. "For that reason, I am calling on all our migrant peers in Tapachula, in Coatzcoalcos, in Tabasco, in Acayuca…to gather on the 18th of this month."

This will fall on the same day as when President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet with Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss issues facing North America, among them immigration.

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Mexico may be allowing the caravans to pass through in order to gain political leverage. Here, Salvadorean migrants heading in a caravan to the U.S., cross the Suchiate River to Mexico, as seen from Ciudad Tecun Uman, Guatemala, on November 2, 2018. Photo by MARVIN RECINOS/AFP via Getty Images

Since Biden took office, customs officials have encountered roughly 1.4 million migrants at the Southwest Border. In a statement by the White House, the Biden administration said that North American leaders will focus on reaffirming their ties and developing "a regional vision for migration."

Heading into this meeting, Obrador may have plans to use the caravans as leverage when he negotiates with the U.S. to increase the number of work visas offered to Mexican citizens, Tony Payan, director of the Center for the U.S. and Mexico at Rice University's Baker Institute, told Border Report.

Last month, Obrador said he would send a letter to Biden asking him to allow more workers into the United States. By doing this, he hoped to address economic migration concerns in a move aimed to a decrease the number of migrants being held in U.S. detention. However, the cap has so far remained stagnant.

"Every time a caravan comes to the border, it creates a political problem for the Biden administration," Payan told Border Report. "It seems to me that Mexico is using the caravans as leverage with the United States. Otherwise, the 18,000 Haitians that made it to Del Rio, Texas, would not have made it that far. They were allowed to transit through Mexico and make it to the border."