26 | AGO | 2019
New migrant caravan crosses Mexican border
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is pursuing a “humanitarian” approach to the problem, vowing to stem the flow of people by finding jobs for the migrants - Photo: Rodrigo Abd/AP

New migrant caravan crosses Mexican border

18/01/2019
18:03
Newsroom & Agencies
Tapachula, Chiapas
Reuters & EFE
-A +A
More than 2,000 Central American migrants entered southern Mexico on Thursday to get to the U.S.

More than 2,000 Central American migrants entered southern Mexico on Thursday in a test of the new government’s pledge to manage an ongoing exodus fueled by violence and poverty that has strained relations with the Trump administration.

The members of this new caravan entered the country at around 04:00 AM through the Rodolfo Robles Valverde international bridge at the border city of Ciudad Hidalgo, Chiapas, refusing to accept Mexico’s registry protocols.

The new group crossed the border under pressure from border authorities who finally let them through without violence.

Mexico’s National Migration Institute said 969 migrants from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua had filed requests for asylum just days after new U.S.-bound caravans of people set off from Central America.

Caravans from Central America have inflamed the debate over U.S. immigration policy, with U.S. President Donald Trump using the migrants to try to secure backing for his plan to build a border wall on the frontier with Mexico.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is pursuing a “humanitarian” approach to the problem, vowing to stem the flow of people by finding jobs for the migrants. In exchange, he wants Trump to help spur economic development in the region.

The U.S. government has been partially shut down for more than three weeks as Democrats resist Trump’s demand that Congress provide $5.7 billion to fund his planned wall.

Mexican officials put wrist bands on the migrants as they entered the country to monitor the flow of people. The bands must be kept until the migrants register with authorities.

Once registered, migrants who met the requirements to stay would be issued humanitarian visas, allowing them to work in Mexico for a year or continue to the U.S. border, said Ana Laura Martínez de Lara, director general of migratory control and verification.

Those who entered Mexico at the official border crossing had done so in a “very orderly” and respectful manner, in contrast to clashes that took place at the frontier in October when a larger caravan began crossing from Guatemala, she said.

Some of the migrants expected to stay in Mexico to find work but it was too early to say how many, she said.

Martínez de Lara said approximately 700 people were still waiting to cross into Mexico from Tecun Uman on the Guatemalan side of the border. She could not say if any people had tried to cross into Mexico illegally.

Mexico’s government said Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard planned to meet U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo soon for talks on their efforts to address the migration challenge. No date was yet set for the talks, a ministry spokeswoman said.
 

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