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By Associated Press
JUCHITAN, Mexico ̵
1; Thousands of US immigrants in a caravan that have already advanced 250 miles in Mexico hope they do not have to go any further, at least for a while .
Red cross personnel on Wednesday bandage the swollen feet of Honduran farmer Omar Lopez in the southern city of Juchitan, where the caravan was paused for the day. He had crushed the hot asphalt of highways every day for the past two weeks after spending nights on concrete sidewalks with just a thin plastic sheet to cover, and it had taken its toll.
“We are waiting to see if they will help us out by buses to continue the journey,” said Lopez, 27.
The organizers say that the buses, if they realize, would take the estimated 4000 immigrants to Mexico City for meetings with legislators, not to the far distant US border, but some would probably continue to the border after reaching the capital.
US officials may not be well off: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Wednesday specifically expressed Mexico to stop Migrants from Riding.
“Mexico has gone unprecedented,” Sanders Fox News said. “They have helped us to stop a lot of these people’s vehicles in these caravans and force them to leave. They have helped us in new ways to slow it down to break it up and prevent it from doing so aggressively against the United States. “
The Mexican government has actually taken a rather contradictory position to help or hinder the first caravan, which reflects the country’s balance sheet: Officials do not want to annoy Trump, but Mexicans have long suffered from abuse as immigrants.
For the first week of the caravan, Mexico’s federal police sometimes used hidden security rules, which forced migrants from paid minibuses and cited insurance regulations. They also stopped some overloaded pickup trucks that transported migrants and forced them to leave. But in recent days, immigration officials from Mexico have organized rides for junk women and children in the caravan as a humanitarian effort.
And the police have routinely stood as immigrants piled on trucks.
But the first caravan – who planned to take a rest day Wednesday in Juchitan, about 900 miles from the nearest limit of limit to the United States – is just the beginning.
A second smaller group of 1,000 inhabitants who forced themselves into Mexico on Monday was behind 250 miles back. They spent Tuesday night in the city of Tapachula.
Behind them, a third group of immigrants from El Salvador had already made it to Guatemala and on Wednesday a fourth group of about 700 Salvadors set out from the capital of San Salvador, with plans to go to the US border, 1,500 miles away.
Jose Santos, 27, brought his grandson with him on the quixotic mission. “I did not want to go, but I’m unemployed and I have to get money to buy food for my son,” Santos said. “There is no job here and violence never ends.”
The first caravan started in Honduras more than two weeks ago; Since then, caravan immigrants have spent their nights camping in the capitals of small towns in the southern states of Chiapas and now Oaxaca. But a fatal earthquake last year destroyed Juchitan’s central market, which led to temporary moving to central plaza – which meant that there was no room for them there.
Instead, they spent the night on a communal property on the outskirts of the city where a high ceiling protected a cement floor. Outside the structure, many more bedded on blankets or cardboard sheets in the grass, with some lashing tarps to the foliage for rudimentary protection.
The two groups combined represent just a few days of the average flow of immigrants to the United States in recent years. Similar caravans have occurred regularly over the years, and most have become a key issue for US President Donald Trump.
With just one week to the United States mid-term election, the Pentagon announced that it will distribute 5 200 troops to the southwest border, and Trump has continued to tweet and talk about immigrants.
On Wednesday he tweeted: “We will not let those caravans, which also consist of some very bad thieves and gang members, enter the United States. Our border is holy, must come in legally. TURN AROUND!”
“According to what they say, we will not be very welcome at the border, Honduras migrant Levin Guillen said when asked about Trump. “But we’ll try.”
Guillen, a 23-year-old farmer from Corinto, Honduras, said he had threatened from home from the same people who killed his father 18 years ago. “We just want a way to reach our ultimate goal, which is the limit,” he said.
Delayed from long miles to go and frustrated by the slow development many immigrants have released and returned home or apply for a sheltered status in Mexico. The initial group has already reduced significantly from its estimated peak of over 7,000 strong. A caravan in the spring finally celebrated to 200 people as grace The United States border in San Diego.
Deputy Foreign Ministers from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico met Tuesday and agreed to coordinate “special attention” for the caravans, human rights guarantees, humanitarian aid and “a secure order and regular migration “in accordance with the laws of each country.
The Mexico Department of Interior said that two Hondurans who requested entry were identified as having arrest warranties at home, a drug-related and others for suspected murder. They were deported. The department said in a statement that the men were a part of “migrating caravan” but did not say which group or specify when they were detained at checkpoints in the southern state of Chiapas.
Echoing their countrymen in the initial caravan, Hondurans in the second group talked about flooding poverty and gang violence in one of the world’s deadliest countries by murder rate. They said that asylum in the United States is their primary goal, but some expressed openness to seek sheltered status in Mexico if it does not work.
“Going to the United States, this is the first goal,” said Carlos Enrique Carcamo, a 50-year-old boat mechanic. “But if it is not possible, yes, permission here in Mexico to work or stay here.”