Migrant caravan sets out in southern Mexico
TAPACHULA, Mexico (AP) — Several thousand migrants set out walking in the rain early Monday in southern Mexico, tired of waiting to normalize their status in a region with little work and still far from their ultimate goal of reaching the United States.
Their advocates said they wanted to call attention to their plight, timing it with this week’s Summit of the America’s in Los Angeles. It was estimated to include 4,000 to 5,000 migrants, mostly from Central America, Venezuela and Haiti.
It is the largest migrant caravan to attempt to leave southern Mexico this year. Mexican authorities have eventually broken up the others through a mix of force and offers to more quickly resolve their cases.
For months, migrants and asylum seekers have complained that Mexico’s strategy of containing them in the southernmost reaches of the country has made their lives miserable. Many carry significant debts for their migration and there are few opportunities for work in Mexico’s south.
Meanwhile, Mexico’s asylum agency has been overwhelmed by the surging number of applicants. Restrictive policies have made applying for asylum in Mexico one of the few routes migrants have to legalize their status and be able to continue traveling north.