GUATEMALA has activated emergency powers that will allow security forces to deploy force against the year’s first US-bound migrant caravan.
A large “caravan” of Central American migrant groups recently departed Honduras to begin its treacherous journey to the US border, marking the first mass migration along the well-established route of 2021. The expected influx of migrants in search of better prospects in North America will be the first to be dealt with under President-elect Joe Biden’s new administration.
The governments of Honduras and Guatemala have announced they will deploy thousands of troops to stop migrants from passing through their borders, with the latter country activating controversial “State of Prevention” laws that limit public demonstrations and allows authorities to disperse any large group by force.
Huge numbers of people living in economically deprived and violence-ridden Central America risk their lives and livelihoods each year to make the journey to the US. Some analysts believe that the Covid-19 pandemic will increase the volume of migrants, as the disease and its financial repercussions make the poorest communities in the Americas even more vulnerable.
All eyes will be on Washington to see Joe Biden’s response to the first wave of migrants of his Presidency, as his predecessor Donald Trump famously advocated a hard border and regularly spoke out against immigration into the US.
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