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Mother of all caravans' heads north: 10K migrants due in Mexico - City any day

Posted: Apr 24th, 2019 - 6:32 am

A massive caravan of approximately 10,000 migrants traveling through Mexico in hopes of reaching the United States is expected to arrive in Mexico City this week, according to local media reports on the group's movements.

The group has been described by Mexico's Interior Secretary Olga Sanchez Cordero as "caravana madre," which has been widely referred to as the "mother of all caravans" in American media.

Around 90 people embarked from El Salvador the last week of March then crossed into Guatemala and then into Mexico. By March 29, Sanchez said the group was expected to exceed 20,000 members. Although the caravan is roughly half that size currently, it has been reported as one of the most diverse groups because in addition to Central Americans, it is made up of people from Cuba, Haiti, and Africa.

The Human Rights Commission said it is working with the federal government in advance of the caravan's arrival to ensure migrants have food, shelter, and any access to other services they may require. Beds, covers, bathrooms, and other items have been brought in for the group, according to Diario de Mexico.

The migrants are expected to be housed in the Magdalena, a sports stadium that was used in the 1968 Olympics.

Cordero said in late March the group would be blocked by federal forces when they arrived at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, which is 250 miles southeast of Mexico City and 100 miles northeast of the Mexico-Guatemala border.

Mexican officials said they have deported thousands of people this month, but 10,000 have made it past federal officers and intend on traveling to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Caravans making their way from Central America to the U.S. began grabbing national media attention last spring when a group of a few thousand people prompted executive action from President Trump. Trump responded by deploying the National Guard to the four southern border states to free up Border Patrol agents from administrative and non-law enforcement jobs.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration announced all asylum-seekers who apply at a port of entry must remain in Mexico while their cases are decided. That process can take two to five years.

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