On October 12, 2018, a group of about 160 people from Honduras began traveling to the U.S. to seek asylum. Within two days, the group grew to 1,000 people. Because of the dangers along the way, many of the migrants decided to travel as a large group as they believed it would be safer. This is known as a “caravan.” Over the past decade, there’s been a rise in the number of unaccompanied children and families crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. People from the Northern Triangle of Central American (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador) say they are fleeing persecution, poverty and violence.
Since the journey began, more people have joined the caravan from Guatemala and Mexico. Estimates vary as to how many people are part of the caravan but there is believed to be between 4,000 and 5,000 people. The migrants have been traveling by foot and will have traveled over 2,700 miles to reach the U.S. border. Expressing concerns about security, President Trump deployed troops to the border with orders to shut down lanes of traffic and add barbed wiring and barricades to prevent people from crossing the border. The Defense Department anticipates the number to fluctuate between 5,500 and 7,000 troops.
This lesson provides an opportunity for students to learn more about the migrant caravan, understand what political asylum (referred to here as “asylum”) is and reflect on the people’s stories and situations.