Migrant caravan moves to western Mexico city of Guadalajara

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 13, 2018

When families, unaccompanied children and single adults are included in the figures, the Border Patrol caught almost 51,000 illegal immigrants in November, the highest since the illegal immigration surge in 2014.

An additional 9,770 unauthorized migrants showed up requesting entry at the official border crossings, according to Customs and Border Protection.

The caravan became a campaign issue in U.S. midterm elections and U.S. President Donald Trump has ordered the deployment of over 5,000 military troops to the border to fend off the migrants.

"CBP has been and will continue to prepare for the potential arrival of thousands of people migrating in a caravan heading towards the border of the United States", Pete Flores, director of San Diego field operations for Customs and Border Protection, said Monday in a statement.

Over the weekend, the central state of Queretaro reported 6,531 migrants moving through the state.

Maribel, who did not want her last name used for fear of reprisals in Honduras, pushed a baby carriage with her 1-year-old daughter while her husband pushed another with their 3-year-old son along a highway leading from Guadalajara to the Nayarit capital of Tepic.

Most appear intent on taking the Pacific coast route northward to the border city of Tijuana, which is still about 1,550 miles away.

While they previously suffered from the heat on their journey through Honduras, Guatemala and southern Mexico, they now trek along highways wrapped in blankets to fend off the morning chill.

Indeed, migrants have hopped aboard so many different kinds of trucks that they are no longer surprised by anything. They piled onto flatbed trucks, hung from vehicle carrier trailers and even stacked themselves four levels high on a truck that usually carries pigs. At the shelter, officials had the migrants form two lines - one for families and one for men traveling alone. On Monday, a few boarded a truck carrying a shipment of coffins, while yet others squeezed into a truck with narrow cages used for transporting chickens. Earlier, a Honduran man in the caravan died when he fell from a platform truck in the Mexican state of Chiapas.

The closures are expected to last "until sometime after people in the caravan arrive to the border", the agency said.

Starting out before dawn, the migrants went on to Irapuato, an agricultural city about 62 miles to the west in neighboring Guanajuato state, and set up camp around a local family center and small sports complex.

Many say they are fleeing rampant poverty, gang violence and political instability primarily in the Central American countries of Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

Mexico has offered refuge, asylum or work visas, and its government said Monday that 2,697 temporary visas had been issued to individuals and families to cover them during the 45-day application process for more permanent status.

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