Forecasting a run for the border
Like when forecasting weather, one needs to look at a number of factors in order to be accurate. We first will look at the current situation to our west; what is the low/high, what direction is it moving, what are the temperatures within the system, etc. Secondly we look to our north and south for the same information. At that point, we can be relatively accurate in forecasting the moment of collision along with the expected results of that collision.
Forecasting things at the border can be similar. As the current average temperatures are rising and we welcome spring, we know that travel becomes more bearable for those wanting to cross the border, especially those that are desiring to cross illegally and make the trek through the desert areas. It is prime time with the lack of frigid cold and intense heat.
In 2022, Texas saw its second-hottest summer on record during the state’s worst drought in more than a decade. You might remember that on June 27th of last year, 53 migrants were found dead in and around a tractor trailer near Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. At least 853 migrants died trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border unlawfully in 2022 making last year the deadliest year for migrants ever recorded by the U.S. Government.
There are more factors that might push immigrants north sooner than later. In 2006, Mexico declared their war against drug traffickers in the wake of escalating inter-cartel warfare. Since then, there have been more than 300,000 murders in the country, a death toll escalated by violence between law enforcement, the military and the cartels.
There is actually an official list of over 100,000 missing people called los desaparecidos—the disappeared. Many of them are presumably among the roughly 52,000 unidentified bodies in Mexican morgues.
Just this week thirty-one bodies were exhumed by authorities from two clandestine graves in Tlajomulco de Zúñiga, Mexico.
As you might imagine, staying just south of the United States border in limbo is not only difficult, it is extremely deadly and when you couple this with the crumbling infrastructure of the area just south of the United States including a dwindling water supply, there is an urgency to moving north that is greater than ever before; you simply cannot just sit there and wait.
Seasonally we generally see more immigrants coming to work in the States as planting season begins soon so there is a perceived deadline for those wanting to grab the farm work.
With Title 42 still on the line and the end of COVID officially set for May, those south of our border looking to move northward are strategizing as we speak as to when the best time is to cross. Cartels and crime groups are profiting handsomely in the smuggling business as a result of repeat crossing attempts enabled by Title 42 and not surprisingly, cooperation between corrupt Mexican officials and smugglers still runs rampant.
That’s a lot of data but we can easily see where things could be within the next month or two. Shelters for migrants in Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez are using all of their resources to assist the migrants flowing in from South and Central America. Although already strained, they anticipate that the flow will increase after May and with a capacity to house 500 migrants, the Casa del Migrante, a Ciudad Juarez shelter, is now handling up to 1,000 people a week. Add in that we now are seeing Tijuana crumpling under the weight of immigrants in shelters and we have the elements for what could be another run for the border.
The Tijuana and Juarez shelters may be a good barometer as there are now 30 migrant shelters open in Tijuana and 22 in Juarez and all are at operating capacity. In my attempts to hunt down accurate numbers, I am told that there are possibly 8,000 in the Tijuana shelters at this time.
There is no real way to forecast just when we will see the next massive influx or run for the border, but as life below the Rio Grande deteriorates, we can be sure that it will be soon whether there's a Title 42 or any other plan on our side.