Thousands of Migrants Continue Towards the US Border
WESLACO – Thousands of migrants continue their way toward the U.S.
Many are wondering where along the border this caravan will arrive.
Washington Post Latin American Correspondent Kevin Sieff is in Chiapas, Mexico – the state bordering Guatemala.
He tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS the confrontation between the Central American caravan of about 7,000 against Mexican immigration didn't last long this weekend.
"It became pretty clear that the Mexican government wasn't going to allow them to cross legally, or it was going to take a very, very long time to do that. So, basically groups of people left the bridge and crossed by raft illegally from Guatemala to Mexico,” says Sieff.
He says the Mexican government attempted to stop the illegal immigration attempts, but logistically it's a challenge.
"You could set up a checkpoint in the middle of a highway and just start arresting people, but you'd have to have a whole lot of police to do that. You'd have to have a place to detain 7,000 people. You might catch some of the families and the children, because they can't run very quickly. But, are you going to chase hundreds of thousands of young men through Southern Mexico?" he explains.
The question many have on this side of the border – at which port of entry they will show up?
The last caravan that traveled from Central America went through Tijuana; this time, there is little known about their end point.
Sieff says organizers are only telling the participants what their goal destination is for the day.
Last time, the trip took about 42 days.
Sieff adds, although thousands are part of it now, that number could drop as they head deeper into Mexico.
"There's some people who are going to apply for asylum and there are a lot of other people who are going to try to cross the border illegally. And there probably will be some people who don't even make it to the border who decide they want to try and find a job in northern Mexico or are going to go back home to Central America,” he says.
Sieff says more transportation options and infrastructure challenges will likely contribute to the group's splintering.
Once they get to the border, there's no clear plan outlined in the minds of those who made the journey.
"I think the assumption is often that these people have a very clear plan of how they're going to enter the U.S., how they're going to defy the American legal system, even how they're going to cross the border. In most cases, they don't have that plan,” Sieff says.
The group is expected to sleep in Huixtla after an eight hour walk from where they started in Tapachula Tuesday morning.