Article by Sela Brown
As the caravan of Central American migrants continues to travel towards the United States, countries have reacted in starkly different ways to the arrival of thousands of migrants. In Mexico City, authorities and citizens welcomed the migrants, providing them with free medical check-ups, helping them get rides, and allowing them to sleep in the city’s stadium. Although Mexico’s asylum law requires the country to welcome many of these migrants, this warm reception is a relatively new phenomenon.
Other countries have not reacted as positively to the migrants. Guatemala recently detained hundreds of migrants, mostly El Salvadorian men. Last week, President Trump announced changes to U.S. policies to restrict migrants seeking asylum. Trump declared that the U.S. will deny asylum to migrants who cross into the U.S. illegally. This would reverse decades of U.S. policies allowing migrants to seek asylum regardless of how they enter the country. Immigration advocacy groups assert that this violates asylum law and U.S. treaty obligations. Trump’s new police is already being challenged in court by the ACLU. For the moment, announcements of policy changes have not deterred most migrants from their journeys.