As rumors circulate of another migrant caravan movement forming in Honduras, I would like to send a clear and firm message to those considering joining. Do not waste your time and money, and do not risk your safety and health. The dangerous journey both puts you in harm’s way and endangers the lives and health of those in the U.S. and regional countries through the potential spread of COVID-19.
The United States stands united with our partners in Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize, and the rest of the region in our commitment to the rule of law and public health. This commitment is not affected by a change in administration in the United States. Migrant caravan groups will not be allowed to make their way north in violation of the sovereignty, standing public health orders, and immigration laws of the respective nations throughout the region.
This is a deadly journey – the U.S. Border Patrol recovered more than 250 bodies along the U.S.-Mexico border last fiscal year. We saw two deaths just last week, when smugglers abandoned dozens of migrants in a winter storm that dumped two feet of snow near Big Bend, Texas. These smugglers are reckless with human life – they do not care for the safety of migrants or law enforcement. COVID-19 compounds the risk of their activities, not only to migrants but also to healthcare workers, frontline officers and agents, and to the communities that migrants pass through on their journey.
I am proud to stand in solidarity with friends and partners throughout the region who are committed to uphold the rule of law, manage safe, orderly, and legal migration, and prevent a humanitarian and health crisis. Our message is clear – if you enter a country illegally or violate public health orders, you will face immediate action, including being returned home immediately, detained or prosecuted.