Walls Don’t Stop Caravans of Thousands

President Trump has a warning:

It’s a funny thing. Trump keeps going on about his hobbyhorse wall, but as we all know, last year’s caravan from the Honduras marched straight up through Mexico along the longest route possible in order to end up in the very area with the biggest, most secure wall we have: San Diego. What’s more, as the map below shows, that’s exactly where the Army figured they’d go. And the alternate routes were all big cities with walls too: El Paso, Piedras Negras, Laredo, McAllen, and Brownsville:

These migrant caravans are positively enthralled by the wall we already have! And they’re really easy to stop: When they get to Tijuana—or whatever legal port of entry they’re heading for—you just refuse to let them in so they can apply for asylum. Piece of cake.

So if there is another caravan on its way, there’s no point in building a wall to stop them. No caravan of thousands of men, women, and children is going to cross the US border in the middle of the Mojave Desert or the Arizona Plateau. Their destination is a legal port of entry where they can apply for asylym, and those places already have walls. So maybe we can stop burbling on about the wall and instead do something about our asylum process?


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.