U.S. immigration policy remains murky in substance as well as legislatively incomplete. Polarization of the issue by American politicians and legislators has resulted in both punitive and permissive policy pronouncements over the last four U.S. presidential administrations, most of which have done little to deter migrants from crossing through Mexico into the U.S. in search of a better life.
This research paper reviews some of the implications of at least 30 migrant caravan iterations that were detected traversing Mexico en route to the U.S. from 2017 to 2022. The migrant caravan phenomenon is viewed from a broad perspective and distilled down to the individual iterations to assess commonalities between caravan waves and to determine which "push" and "pull" factors were in place when the caravans were formed and mobilized. The individual caravan iterations are also compared against permissive and punitive U.S. and Mexican immigration policies at the time to assess any discernable cause and effect.