/ Modified apr 16, 2018 10:03 a.m.

Prof: Origins of Migrant Caravan Rooted in Religion

UA's Elizabeth Oglesby explains the heightened attention on the annual migration.

President Trump’s decision to send the National Guard the border came days after a series of tweets reacting to news of a caravan of migrants from Central America traveling north through Mexico.

Elizabeth Oglesby is an associate professor at the University of Arizona Center for Latin American Studies and researches human rights issues in Central America. She discussed the history of the caravan, its purpose and what events led to its portrayal in the media this month.

Oglesby said the caravan began seven years ago and generally happens around the week of Easter because, in Latin America, public processions traditionally take place around the holiday.

"It is not directly to bring migrants to the United States," said Oglesby. "Mostly, it's a way to help provide safe passage for the migrants through Mexico as well as draw attention to their plight, the reasons they are fleeing their home countries, and the conditions that many migrants face as they transit through Mexico."

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