When I reported that 150 “caravan migrants” attempted to storm the border near San Diego on Christmas Eve, I noted that a second caravan had been formed in Honduras.

It appears that the next band of border busters is poised to enter Mexico.

Mexican authorities will meet with Central American officials to prepare for the arrival of a planned new caravan of migrants headed to the United States next week.

The head of Mexico’s immigration office, Tonatiuh Guillen, left on Wednesday on a trip to El Salvador and Honduras to meet with his counterparts and other authorities, said Interior Ministry spokesman Hector Gandini.

Mexico hopes to discourage a mass exodus from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, and wants Central Americans who decide to migrate north to do so in an orderly way and through legal ports of entry.

Border Patrol agents have apprehended 27,518 members of family units in December, which is the highest monthly total on record. Apparently, the robust economy and promise of social justice goodies (e.g., Medi-Cal benefits from California’s new governor) have inspired more to make the trek.

Those caravan members, most of whom tried to exercise their legal right to request asylum in the USA, contributed to a third straight month of more than 60,000 migrants being detained at U.S. ports of entry and arrested in the vast stretches of border in between.

The Trump administration points to those numbers as proof that the situation along the southern border is at “crisis” levels that require the expansion of the border wall. Trump used a national TV address from the Oval Office on Tuesday night to argue that case.

The administration has also used the growing number of migrants to try to end asylum for victims of domestic abuse and gang violence and to prevent migrants who enter the country illegally from applying for asylum.

Arguably, not only is this situation a humanitarian crisis, it is also a potential public health catastrophe. Border authorities are sending 50 illegal entrants to medical facilities daily, so a a variety of contagious diseases (e.g.,flu, tuberculosis) can be treated.

CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said most of those needing help were ill when they arrived at the border, and some appear to have made the initial decision to leave even while ailing.

“Many were ill before they departed their homes,” the commissioner said. “We’re talking about cases of pneumonia, tuberculosis, parasites. These are not things that developed urgently in a matter of days.”

During President Trump’s address to the nation on the border crisis, he said: “When I took the oath of office, I swore to protect our country. And that is what I will always do so help me God.” He has plenty of incentive to keep the government closed until Congress addresses border control seriously.

 
 
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