As a group of migrants slowly heads north toward the United States, a group of concerned American citizens is preparing to head to the border, too.
A small group of migrants in Honduras planned to walk to the United States to enter the country. As they organized, the group expanded to several thousand Central Americans who have been making their way north.
President Donald Trump has made it clear that he does not want the group to enter the United States without using the legal channels. In response to the caravan, the president has vowed to strip the funding of Central American countries that fail to stop the migrants from leaving.
The president has also been working closely with Mexican authorities to try and stop the group from entering the United States. Mexico has offered asylum and temporary work permits to the caravan, but they are determined to make it to America.
To those in the Caravan, turnaround, we are not letting people into the United States illegally. Go back to your Country and if you want, apply for citizenship like millions of others are doing!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 25, 2018
Full efforts are being made to stop the onslaught of illegal aliens from crossing our Souther Border. People have to apply for asylum in Mexico first, and if they fail to do that, the U.S. will turn them away. The courts are asking the U.S. to do things that are not doable!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 21, 2018
President Trump made it clear that safety is his biggest concern about the caravan, pointing to the fact that U.S. officials have not had the opportunity to vet any of the people in the caravan. In response, the president declared the issue a national emergency and deployed troops to help secure the border.
Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border. Please go back, you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 29, 2018
While the military will certainly play a role in stopping the caravan if they continue toward the U.S., many civilians are ready to help out, too.
According to the Washington Post, a group of nearly 100 armed American citizens is planning to help out at the border. Shannon McGauley, the president of the Texas Minutemen, stated, “We’ll observe and report, and offer aid in any way we can.”
But according to Newsweek, U.S. military officials don’t really want the help of the Minutemen, expressing concern over “unregulated militia members self-deploying to the border in alleged support.”
The military isn’t the only group that doesn’t want the help of the Minutemen. A group called the Texas Border Volunteers claim that they’re “ready to move,” but they don’t want the militia to show up.
The border volunteers are unarmed civilians living along the border who report any illegal crossings they see. While the group uses military tactics like night vision goggles to track illegal crossings, they don’t confront the people crossing the border.
Because members of this group own a lot of the land near the border, they believe they can keep the Minutemen away by now allowing them to trespass on their property.
One landowner, Lucy Cruse, told the Post:
“I will not let militia on my land. They’re civilians stepping into a situation where the Border Patrol is supposed to be in control and make decisions. They could damage property or harm workers. I would guess they would be trigger-happy. If they shot someone, they might just say the person they shot was reaching for a gun.”
While they may not be welcomed, the militia seems just as determined as the caravan to make it to the border.