Who's in the caravan? Survey profiles Central American migrants stranded in Tijuana

sandiegouniontribune.com | 1/27/2019 | Staff
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Five weeks after a Central American caravan arrived in Tijuana last November, a majority of those stranded in the city were male, young, Honduran — and still hoping to cross to the United States, according to a newly released survey from the International Organization for Migration.

The report found that 68 percent of respondents “continue to contemplate and search for the most suitable way, from their perspectives, to enter the United States.” Another 22 percent “prefer to seek employment in Mexico,” it stated. Only a small proportion, four percent, were considering the possibility of seeking asylum in Mexico, the United States or a European country. A similar proportion said they wanted to return home.

Dec - Survey - Information - Migrants - Monitoring

Conducted on Dec. 20 and 21, the survey collected information from 393 migrants at two monitoring stations — El Barretal shelter in eastern Tijuana and a second location near the U.S. border in Tijuana’s Zona Norte by the Benito Juárez Sports Complex.

The great majority of those surveyed were members of the caravan that left Honduras last October and arrived in Tijuana in mid November. IOM staff said understanding the dynamic of that group can enlighten governments and international organizations about the large number of Central Americans who have entered Mexico this month, many with plans to cross the U.S. border.

Majority - December - IOM - Survey - Percent

The majority in December’s IOM survey, 82 percent, were males who ranged from 19 to 45 years old. Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) came from Honduras, with 16 percent from El Salvador, 10 percent from Guatemala and 2 percent from Nicaragua.

As to their reasons for migration, 47 percent cited violence experienced in their countries of origin, and 45 percent cited the lack of socioeconomic opportunities as the prime motivating factors. Only two percent said they were traveling to reunite with family members.

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