Migrant caravan set for US from Mexico stalls near Tapachula: Source


Migrants who had been waiting for temporary transit papers, but failed to get them after waiting, some up to two months, leave Tapachula, Mexico, Monday, Oct. 30, 2023, as they make their way to the U.S. border. The migrants said they did not have the resources to pay for food and lodging to wait any longer. (AP Photo/Edgar Clemente)

(NewsNation) — A caravan of thousands of migrants in Mexico bound for the United States has stopped in Huixtla, about 35 miles from Tapachula, a source traveling with the group confirmed to NewsNation.

“There are many kids and women, they can’t walk anymore … The organizers say they will wait there to negotiate a temporary visa for all of them and they will not move from there until they get it,” the source said. “Apparently, Mexican Immigration is denying any negotiation with them. They don’t want to give them anything.”

The source said he plans to leave the caravan since they aren’t moving.

Hundreds more people have joined a caravan of thousands of migrants in Mexico bound for the United States, according to Irineo Mújica, one of the organizers, as the group traveled through the southern state of Chiapas.

Mújica reports the group has grown to more than 7,000 migrants, up from 5,000 on Monday. However, a spokesperson for the Chiapas government said state authorities still estimated its size at around 3,500 participants.

On Tuesday, the caravan was resting in the municipality of Huehuetan, about 16 miles from Tapachula, a city near the Guatemalan border from which the migrants set off.

Most of the caravan is from Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras and Venezuela.

Many migrants are fleeing poverty and political instability in their homelands, and this year has seen record numbers crossing the Darien Gap region connecting Panama and Colombia.

Migrants complained that processing for refugee or exit visas takes too long at Mexico’s main migrant processing center in the city of Tapachula, near the Guatemalan border. Under Mexico’s overwhelmed migration system, people seeking such visas often wait for weeks or months, without being able to work.

Mújica is demanding transit visas that would allow the migrants to cross Mexico and reach the U.S. border.

In the past, Mexico has provided visas to members of caravans stating that it gives them a right to live and work there. However, the migrants don’t intend to stay in Mexico, so the visa acts as a fast-pass through checkpoints to the U.S. border. 

The march, which started Monday, was among the largest since June 2022. Migrant caravans in 2018 and 2019 drew far greater attention.

The southwestern border of the U.S. has struggled to cope with increasing numbers of migrants from South America who move quickly through the Darien Gap between Colombia and Panama before heading north. By September, 420,000 migrants, aided by Colombian smugglers, had passed through the gap in the year to date, Panamanian figures showed.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.


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