Journalist Ali Bradley on US-bound migrant caravan in Mexico

On Balance with Leland Vittert

(NewsNation Now) — About 4,000 migrants are traveling in a caravan from southern Mexico to the U.S. with hopes that President Joe Biden will grant them permission to enter the country. The caravan is one of the largest of its kind since the pandemic began, and there are no signs of it slowing down.

Freelance journalist Ali Bradley is on the ground with those who are making the trek. She joined “On Balance” on Wednesday to discuss how the trip is going so far.

“They are all on foot right now,” Bradley said. “We are five days in, and they have only made 36 miles of progress.”

Bradley said she joined the caravan in Tapachula, near the Guatemala border, Saturday. She said one first goal of the caravan is to get to Mexico City.

“What they’re trying to do in Mexico City is get this protection claim validated through a judge.”

Many members of the caravan have denounced the lengthy asylum process in Tapachula. They are hoping that by going to Mexico City first, they can raise awareness of the issue and make the asylum process faster.

The U.S. government has pressured Mexico to contain migrants before reaching the U.S. border, and Mexican authorities have obliged by beefing up patrols.

Bradley said the caravan so far has only been met with opposition one time since they left Saturday.

The United States has registered record levels of attempted migration this year, as border agents have apprehended or expelled more than 1.7 million migrants over the past 12 months.

Bradley also noted that this caravan is very different from the Haitian caravan that came to the U.S. last month.

“It’s very heavy women and children; we have about 1,700 kids within this caravan,” Bradley said, adding that, “63 are pregnant women. This is what they’re calling the march of the children.”

She also said that the majority of migrants are from Central America.

In addition, she said, she’s talking to people from Africa and Venezuela.

Bradley says most of the group believes that this is the only way to escape from their countries. She said many of them have escaped violent gangs and grinding joblessness back home.

Many of them are also hurting from the journey, with blisters on their feet and sore arms and legs from carrying items and small children. But Bradley said they are determined to make it to the United States.

“These people tell me they are not worried at all about being turned back. They tell me that Mr. Biden is going to let him in them in because he is going to honor the promises that he campaigned on.”

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