Despite Mexico's promises to halt its progress, the migrant caravan launched from a crime-ridden city in Honduras earlier this month has continued its march toward the US-Mexico border. And while the media has spilled much ink reporting on the brutal conditions of the migrants (who have been supplied with clean food and water every step of the way) it appears the group is growing larger by the day. While low-ball estimates have put the size of the caravan at around 3,500, other estimates have put that number as high as 14,000.
And according to Reuters, the group departed the Mexican town of Mapastepec in Chiapas state on Thursday after stopping overnight to rest. The caravan is now less than 1,700 miles from the US border, and has continued trudging forward despite being told by Mexican authorities that its members would not be allowed to cross into the US. President Trump has also pledged to do "whatever we have to do" to keep them out.
Alex Mensing of Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a group that organized the first migrant caravan to head toward the US earlier this year, and is apparently doing everything it can to help this one, said the current group is 10,000 people strong. Though Mensing said it's unlikely that the group will reach the border as one large lump - instead, hundreds will probably stay in Mexico while the rest fan out across the southern US border depending on where they have family.
"It’s very unlikely that 10,000 people will arrive together at a border city between Mexico and the United States," he told a conference call with reporters.
"There will be people who stay in Mexico, there will be people who go to different borders because everyone has their own plan and different support where they have family members."
Meanwhile, a separate group of most Honduran migrants numbering 1,000 strong has been moving slowly through Guatemala toward Mexico, comprising the third caravan to head toward the US this year.
A member of one church group described to Reuters how migrants would try to hitch rides aboard the church vehicles used to transport food and other supplies to the migrants.
"No, no," church volunteer Liz Magail Rodriguez said, pointing to the containers of food. "With these tamales, you’ll have energy to walk all day."
With this in mind, the 'assistance' that the migrants have received from both local groups and US-based nonprofits like Pueblo Sin Fronteras cannot be understated. The latter organization has been following the migrants for practically their entire journey, since the first few hundred members departed the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula on Oct. 13, supplying them with water, food and even handing out cash to the crowd.
Even as some groups have refused to give rides to the migrants (because there would be no "caravan" for Dems to rally behind if they were all traveling by car), the migrants have been well-fed and - as one twitter user pointed out - suspiciously clean.
Look closely at the migrant caravan pics and video People walking 50 miles a day. sleeping on the streets look showered and extremely clean- These pics were all taken today pic.twitter.com/6A4p6c32UY
The notion that the offer of financial support wasn't central to the caravan's formation is completely false. As the New York Post reported on Wednesday, a former Honduran lawmaker Bartolo Fuentes helped organize the caravan by purportedly telling a local news station that migrants would receive "assistance" - which is what initially inspired the dozens of travelers.
And while left-leaning media has moved to quickly debunk President Trump's assertion that there are unspecified "Middle Easterners" in the caravan, they're largely missing the point. As two reporters from the Daily Caller pointed out, we don't know who is in the Caravan, and we certainly don't know their criminal history.