Ideas

Brainiac

Context: Migrant Caravan

JUCHITAN DE ZARAGOZA, MEXICO - NOVEMBER 01: Members of the Central American caravan head out at dawn for their next destination on November 01, 2018 in Juchitan de Zaragoza, Mexico. The group of migrants, many of them fleeing violence in their home countries, took a rest day on Wednesday and resumed their journey towards the United States border on Thursday. As fatigue from the heat, distance and poor sanitary conditions has set in, the numbers of people participating in the trek has slowly dwindled but a significant group are still determined to get to the United States. On Monday an official said that the Pentagon will deploy up to 5,000 active-duty troops to the U.S.-Mexico border in an effort to prevent members of the migrant caravan from illegally entering the country. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Members of the Central American caravan headed out at dawn for their next destination.

As the midterm election campaign entered its final days this past week, President Trump stepped up his rhetoric about the so-called caravans of Central American migrants making their way through Mexico to the United States. He described the movement of people as an “invasion,” and says he will send as many as 15,000 troops to guard the country’s southern flank. But other commentators emphasized the 1,000 miles the migrants would have to travel before reaching the US border, the slow pace of their journey, and the possibility that many or most will opt to remain in Mexico. Newsweek, citing Pentagon documents, reports that officials expect “only a small percentage” of the migrants to actually complete the march to the border — maybe 20 percent, based on historical patterns. That means about 1,500 migrants total.

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David Scharfenberg can be reached at david.scharfenberg@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @dscharfGlobe