What do we know about caravans? News headlines show thousands of migrants traveling from Honduras heading north toward the U.S. / Mexico border. This news is not surprising to many who work in the region or with refugees here in the U.S. At Women of Welcome, we have been discussing how we have nothing to fear in headlines and can approach the news with boldness and compassion.
Last week, we had a conversation with Matthew Soerens of World Relief, and you can watch the replay of the video on our IGTV (the conversation about Caravans specifically is found at 3:28 in the video). Here's what we know.
Caravans were anticipated this year. Honduras, the origin country for one of the recent, large caravans, has suffered two devastating hurricanes alongside COVID, and it was expected that more people would feel they had no choice but to migrate. It's also common for a surge in migration during any change of political leadership in the U.S.
People travel together for safety. Caravans offer families safety in numbers and prevent people from needing to hire a smuggler, which can be very dangerous.
Many people will not make it to the U.S. border. Central American countries like Guatemala are facing pressure from the U.S. to stop caravans, as well as their own regional concerns due to COVID-19. Additionally, the journey is long and harrowing, and it is unlikely the large numbers we're currently seeing will stay steady to the border.
Some will qualify for asylum. Others may think they will qualify but may not have a full understanding of our immigration system and laws and may find they do not once they arrive.
We are continuing to listen and learn as people continue to travel with hopes of refuge and safety in the U.S. Together, we will also continue to pray for the families traveling, local leaders along the way, as well as U.S. leaders as they address real people in need.
To learn more about caravans and other headlines we're watching, be sure to watch our IGTV video with Matt Soerens of World Relief.