When Joe Biden is sworn in as president this week, he may already have thousands of migrants on his doorstep, so to speak. A massive caravan from Honduras, believed to be 6,000 to 8,000 strong, has been making its way north toward the border in recent days ahead of Biden's inauguration.
So far, the caravan ran into strong opposition in Guatemala, and faces a similar battle if it makes it to Mexico. But with the Biden administration pledging to reverse most Trump immigration policies, these caravans are likely to continue. "People in Central America who wanted to illegally immigrate here knew that the Democrats would make it easy," says Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies. "And since Biden's election victory, that message has just gotten stronger."
Members of the caravan are demanding the Biden administration live up to its promises, and with good reason. "Biden has said he will not deport them," says Krikorian. "He said no one will be deported from the United States who's an illegal immigrant, unless they're actually convicted of a violent crime."
"So why wouldn't you try to come up, step foot across the border, say the magic asylum words, and then basically it's all over...you're home free."
Not only will this border surge stress the Biden administration in the short term, but Biden's long term immigration policies will also be put to the test in Congress. "I don't see how moderate Democrats can vote for something as radical, or even half as radical, as what Biden wants, when the border is going to be out of control," says Krikorian.