Estimates as to the number of economic migrants varies between 7,000 to 10,000 and the numbers are growing fast as they are now facilitated by, and joined by, ideological comrades within Mexico. The ‘invasion force’ is now more than two-miles long. The group claims to be fleeing violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, yet the group has deployed violence against Mexican officials who are vastly outnumbered.
The throng grew even larger than when the migrants arrived at the border bridge Friday, swelling overnight to 5,000 or so. It was not immediately clear where the additional travelers came from since about 2,000 had been gathered on the Mexican side Saturday night. But people have been joining and leaving the caravan daily, some moving at their own pace and strung out in a series of columns.
Federal police monitored the caravan’s progress from a helicopter and had a few units escorting it. Outside Tapachula, about 500 black-uniformed officers briefly gathered along the highway on buses and in patrol units, but they said their orders were to maintain traffic and not to stop the caravan. They moved on toward the city before the caravan reached them.
Mexico’s Interior Department said in a statement that federal and Chiapas state authorities were providing assistance to migrants, including legal counseling for those who applied for asylum. It released a video showing workers doling out food, medicine and medical treatment.
- Central American migrants advancing toward the U.S. border in Mexico has swelled to 7,000 people
- Thousands of mostly Honduran migrants rose at dawn on Sunday and continued their trek northward
- They walked towards the Mexican town of Tapachula, 10 abreast in a line stretching approximately a mile
- Police in riot gear were deployed at highway junctions and a military helicopter circled overhead
- Mexican immigration authorities only allowed some 640 migrants through the border crossing Saturday
- The slow process prompted several thousand to cross the river illegally by rafts or even swimming
- President Donald Trump has threatened to halt aid to Honduras and Guatemala, and potentially close down the U.S. border with Mexico if the march is not stopped
- Trump fired off a tweet on Sunday afternoon, saying efforts were being made to stop the 'onslaught of illegal aliens from crossing'
The throng of Central American migrants advancing toward the U.S. border in southern Mexico has now swelled to a whopping 7,000 people as they defy the efforts of four governments to break them up.
Thousands of mostly Honduran migrants rose at dawn on Sunday from the shores of a river between Guatemala and Mexico and continued their trek northward, overwhelming Mexican government attempts to stop them at the border.
Their numbers swelled from 2,000 to about 5,000 overnight and at first light they set out walking toward the Mexican town of Tapachula, 10 abreast in a line stretching approximately a mile. That number has now reportedly risen to 7,000.
Several hundred more already had applied for refugee status in Mexico and an estimated 1,500 were still on the Guatemalan side of the Suchiate River, hoping to enter legally.
It came as President Donald Trump fired off a tweet on Sunday afternoon, saying: 'Full efforts are being made to stop the onslaught of illegal aliens from crossing our Southern Border.
'People have to apply for asylum in Mexico first, and if they fail to do that, the U.S. will turn them away. The courts are asking the U.S. to do things that are not doable!'
Trump went on to add in a separate tweet: 'The Caravans are a disgrace to the Democrat Party. Change the immigration laws NOW!'
It was not immediately clear where the additional travelers had materialized from since about 2,000 had been gathered on the Mexican side Saturday night.
They seemed likely to be people who had been waiting in the Guatemalan town of Tecun Uman and who decided to cross during the night.
The migrants pose a challenge to Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's promise late last week to stop the travelers' plans to press ahead to the U.S. border without the proper documents.
As the U.S.-bound caravan moved into Mexico, Mexican police in riot gear were deployed at highway junctions and a military helicopter circled overhead, prompting many migrants to wonder if police will make mass arrests and seek to turn the caravan back.