Caravaners clear out after Mexican police raid

Who says human beings, Central American, Mexican, or North American, don't respond to incentives?

Apparently, all it took was one Mexican police raid and the caravan signups have just about vanished.

Here's the rather amazing Associated Press story:

Calls for a new migrant caravan went largely unheeded Tuesday as a relatively small group departed from Honduras, a week after a raid by Mexican police resulted in hundreds of detentions and the dissolution of a previous caravan.

Conversation in online chat groups used to organize the caravans has been marked by anxiety since the raid and amid other policies in Mexico that seem designed to discourage movements of migrants en masse. Fewer than 300 people gathered at a bus station in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, to leave by bus and on foot in the overnight darkness.

Caravans tend to grow as they move north and are joined by migrants already on the road, but the group was a far cry from previous caravans that began with around 1,000-2,000 people. The caravan that was broken up last week numbered around 3,000 at its peak.

So apparently all it took was word of a police raid along swift and certain deportation and the migrants decided to stay away. Among illegal migrants, word gets around fast. They know the migrant journey is arduous. They know the Mexican public has gotten sick of the side effects of their arrivals - littering, crime, costs of food and board, and disruption. The tipping point seems to have been the raids, from the officials who will no longer stand by idly and let them do it. As a result, migrating legally to the U.S. has just gotten a little bit more attractive, and some would-be migrants will undoubtedly consider other Latin countries for new residences as better alternatives.

It's amazing stuff, given that the raid was actually quite piddly, and the numbers of illegal migrants moving toward the U.S. are absolutely huge. It's actually a favor to nations such as Honduras and El Salvador, which right now can't afford to lose people based on their demographic decline.

It shows just how risk-free the proposition of illegal immigration has been for those seeking to come here illegally. Up until now, it's always been something for nothing - and people falsely claiming asylum don't even have to pay fees for their phony claims, quite unlike legal immigrants.

Well, that little move from the Mexicans seems to have shifted the equation, creating a bit of balance.

Credit for that goes not to Mexico, but to President Trump, who only got Mexico to act by threatening to shut down the border if the Mexicans didn't act to halt the caravans. The Mexicans may well have thought their tiny raid would be good for symbolic argument's sake, a token act to get Trump off their backs, but now that we see this result, something more is going on: Trump's tweets seem to be having the effect of walls.

Image credit: Fox News, via YouTube, screen shot





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