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1,000 Hondurans migrants are forming another US-bound caravan

Migrants from Honduras march in a caravan. (Morena Perez Joachin/DPA/Zuma Press/TNS)
January 15, 2020

Around 1,000 people have gathered in the city of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, this week to organize a new migrant caravan bound for the U.S.

Bartolo Fuentes, a journalist and activist confirmed the news of the gathering caravan to AFP on Tuesday. Fuentes said, “Right now we’re close to 1,000 people but there are buses arriving from different parts of the country.”

Fuentes said many of the people were alerted to the gathering migrant caravan through social media posts. He said many of those caravan participants came from rural areas.

Fuentes has reportedly been accused by the Honduran government of organizing a past migrant caravan in October of 2018; a charge he has denied.

“Here there’s no work for anyone. I was studying … but for nothing because there are many graduates with the diploma under their arm but without finding work,” 28-year-old Yoly Sabillon told AFP reporters.

She said she left behind her three children, aged 3, 7 and 13, with their grandmother before joining the caravan.

Around 2,000 migrants joined into the U.S. bound caravan in October of 2018. At the time, U.S. President Donald Trump called the caravan a national emergency and sought to bolster U.S. troops and Border Patrol in anticipation of the caravan’s arrival.

By November, some 7,000 U.S. troops were prepared to deploy to the border in anticipation of the incoming migrant caravan.

In April, a second larger caravan of around 20,000 people began marching toward the U.S. In response, Trump floated the idea of closing the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump made a wall along the U.S. southern border a major talking point of his 2016 platform and he has emphasized immigration enforcement throughout his presidency.

In 2019, Trump reassigned $6.5 billion in defense funds to pay for some of that wall construction. Thus far those reassigned Pentagon funds have survived various congressional challenges and lawsuits. In July the Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing Trump to go forward with using a $2.5 billion portion of the overall Pentagon funds for wall construction.

Last week a federal appeals court ruled in favor of overturning another legal challenge to a separate $3.6 billion portion of Pentagon funds, again allowing the Trump administration to go forward with further wall projects.

On Tuesday, reports circulated that Trump is again considering reassigning Pentagon funds for wall construction, to the tune of $7.2 billion. Congress has largely opposed granting Trump’s full wall funding requests in the 2019 and 2020 budgets, though they have approve $1.375 billion in border security funds for both of the last two annual budgets.