- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Another massive migrant caravan has left Central America en route to the U.S., and Homeland Security said it’s keeping tabs on its movements and expects Mexico to step up and disrupt as much of the caravan as possible.

Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf also warned of reports of “violence and lawlessness” among caravan participants.

He said the U.S. has people in Central America working with countries there to block people, and signaled those who do make it across Mexico to the U.S. will be met with the same wall of policies that helped derail last year’s migrant surge.

“Being part of a large group, like a caravan, provides no special treatment or benefits to those who participate,” Mr. Wolf said. “Should any members of the caravan reach the U.S.-Mexico border, they will be processed accordingly and quickly removed, returned or repatriated.”

The Center for Immigration Studies has been tracking the caravan since word developed last month that it was going to form in Honduras.

As of the middle of this month, the caravan stood at about 1,500 people, with hundreds more waiting to join up. The mass of people is now at the Mexico-Guatemala border, where Mexican officials are hoping to constrain it.

Under pressure from President Trump, Mexico last year deployed tens of thousands of national guard troops to its northern and southern borders to try to control the massive flow of Central Americans using its territory as a path to reach the U.S.

Caravans are the most visible test of Mr. Trump’s border security pledges, with waves of caravans over the past two years spawning ever-tougher policies from the U.S.

A slate of moves, including forcing new illegal arrivals to return to Mexico to await their immigration cases, and working on deals with Central American countries to speed up deportations, helped cut the numbers by more than 70% from their peak in May.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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