First Of Migrant Caravan Arrives In Mexico City

Almost 3,000 migrants plan to stay in Mexico, leaving more than 5,000 pushing on to the United States, which is still hundreds of miles away.

Migrants making their way through Central America board a truck in Guatemala City, Guatemala en route to the Mexican border on October 18, 2018.
John Moore / Getty Images

Almost 3,000 migrants plan to stay in Mexico, leaving more than 5,000 pushing on to the United States, which is still hundreds of miles away.

After almost three weeks and hundreds of miles of walking, the first group of Central American migrants arrived in Mexico City on Sunday evening, USA Today reported.

Out of over 5,000 travelers, about 2,000 arrived over the weekend to Mexico’s capital. The rest were expected to arrive throughout the day on Monday, many of whom were staying about 190 miles away in the city of Cordoba.

According to USA Today, the migrants have received a “warm” welcome, and the local government has turned a sports complex into a shelter for the travelers, who have “endured sore feet, sickness and downpours, and survived on guile and the generosity of Mexicans of modest means.”

The stay in Mexico City is expected to be a long one, as the caravan regroups, tends to medical needs, and talks to legal advocates about their options. According to data released by the Mexican government last week, 2,793 caravan members have taken up an offer from Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to take asylum in the country, and will receive temporary work visas, health benefits, and have the opportunity to enroll their children in school. The Mexico City government has also dispatched teams offering medical and legal advice in an attempt to provide migrants with incentives to stay rather than push forward towards the U.S.-Mexico border, USA Today reported.

And while a number of migrants have chosen to remain in Mexico, more than 5,000 plan to continue on towards the U.S.-Mexico border, which now has thousands of troops stationed along it, as per President Donald Trump’s orders. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, troops began laying barbed wire along the Texas side of the Rio Grande river last week in preparation for the arrival of the migrant caravans, which even after landing in Mexico City today are still almost 700 miles away.

President Trump has pinpointed the migrant caravans as a central issue for the midterm elections, citing it at several campaign stops over the weekend as a means to offset votes for the Democratic Party.

“If Democrats get elected…they want to turn America into a giant sanctuary city for violent predators and ruthless gang members,” he said to an audience in Pensacola, Florida, on Saturday. “We will keep the criminals, drug dealers, terrorists the hell out of our country.”

And though President Trump has made the caravan out to be a “national emergency” filled with criminals and gang members, USA Today points out that members of the last migrant caravan that arrived to the U.S. border earlier this year “legally presented themselves at ports of entry to apply for asylum,” which remains the end goal for many members of the current caravan.

“Our goal is to reach the United States, not spend too much time in one place,” Honduran native Maria Elena Torres said. “With God’s help, we’re going to make it.”