The caravan of Central American migrants attempting to cross Mexico’s southern border from Guatemala appeared to be slowing down but thousands were still on the move on Friday, with many of the migrants showing signs of growing weary.
The three-week-old caravan faces several problems on its journey, including Mexico’s decision to tell people to land their cars and buses and walk the last few miles to the border crossing point of Reynosa. This past weekend, police detained one caravan member near Mexico City who was walking on the highway rather than remaining in the caravan, said Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spokesman Carlos Diaz.
Mexico issued an order that said all the migrants in the caravan moving from Guatemala to Reynosa have to register for refugee status with Mexican authorities. This comes after a United Nations official announced on Friday that Mexico could keep up its regulation that would prevent anyone wanting to apply for asylum in Mexico from actually getting into the country.
Border Protection officials also opened areas for the migrants to take their boats into Texas or inland water to get as close to the US as possible, despite President Donald Trump calling the caravan a national security threat. Some of the migrants have already crossed into Texas.
Friday evening, Mexican Interior Secretary Alfonso Navarrete Prida met with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) at a government hotel to discuss how best to handle the group of migrants, according to CNN’s Tomas Dinges. Officials had met earlier in the day with migrants to give them advice on how to move through Mexico.
Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday called the caravan “a PR stunt.” When asked by reporters if Mexican government officials were knowingly allowing the migrants into Mexico, Navarrete said they were focused on “humanitarian issues.”
Photos: A look at the Central American migrant caravan crossing Mexico to the US
“We are concerned about the journey, about people experiencing famine in some areas of Honduras, about children suffering from cholera,” he said. “We are concerned about the hardships that have been put on these migrants and we have no interest in encouraging that,” Navarrete said.
Mexican officials said they will allow the migrants to cross into Mexico, but many protesters said that if they were allowed to enter, they’d not go through border checkpoints and stand up to asylum officers.
Navarrete on Friday said the bus will leave upon arrival in the border town of Arriaga, in Tabasco state, to take families to the nearby city of Arriaga, and then they’ll be on their way to the Reynosa crossing. He said that as of Friday the buses would be coming every day from the bus station in Arriaga to the bus station in Arriaga.
Navarrete said, however, he did not know what would happen if the buses come less frequently than the 16 daily, except that it would cause “problems.”
Navarrete said he had asked the leaders of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to arrange for the organization of the processing centers.