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.
A report from Mexico City’s Palillo Stadium where thousands of migrants from the caravan have arrived and thousands more are expected - tired doesn’t even begin to describe it #CaravanaMigrante #MigrantCaravan pic.twitter.com/yW1JoKqjdc— Annie Rose Ramos (@Annie_Rose23) November 5, 2018
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.
Migrant caravan trucks northward through Mexico pic.twitter.com/PB4YZmdiqF— Jack Posobiec ???????? (@JackPosobiec) November 5, 2018
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.”
Another fantastic #MAGARally tonight in the Great State of Florida. In just 3 days, the People of Florida are going to elect @ScottforFlorida and @RonDeSantisFL to protect your jobs, defend your BORDERS, and CONTINUE MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! https://t.co/0pWiwCHGbh???????? pic.twitter.com/sS78uyafOG— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 4, 2018
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.”