Migrant Caravan Rests as a Second Group Tries to Enter Mexico

Honduran migrants climb a border fence in Tecun Uman Guatemala Friday Oct. 19 2018

A new group of migrants bound for the U.S. has set off from El Salvador, following thousands of other Central Americans fleeing poverty and violence who have taken similar journeys in recent weeks.

The migrants appeared undeterred on Thursday night as several thousand of them bedded down more than 1610km from the U.S. border, in the town of Pijijiapan in Mexico's southern Chiapas state, after hiking hours from their last stop.

Most of the migrants in the caravan appeared determined to reach the USA, despite an offer of refuge in Mexico.

Most of the members of this caravan on Sunday postponed their departure from San Pedro Tapanatepec, in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, to reorganise their security measures after on Saturday night a fight occurred in which one person was injured.

On Saturday, an arm of the federal government for the first time seemed to be directly helping the migrants advance rather than trying to diminish the caravan.

Migrants say joining a large group offers a measure of protection against police officers and bandits.

Among the few women in the group is 38-year-old single mother Lorena Cruz, who left behind children aged 16, 12 and 10. Rojas transported the group to their destination after spotting them on a highway trudging through temperatures approaching 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius). Hundreds broke through a Guatemala border gate in Tecun Umanand on Sunday afternoon were on the bridge into Mexico.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto launched a program Friday dubbed "You are home", which promises shelter, medical attention, schooling and jobs to Central Americans who agree to stay in the southern Mexico states of Chiapas or Oaxaca, far from the USA border. Migrants countered that the middle of a highway was no place to negotiate and said they wanted to at least arrive safely to Mexico City to discuss the topic with authorities and Mexican lawmakers.

A Mexican official said Sunday that the group is seeking entry via Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico.

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"The caravan is presenting an opportunity for me (to emigrate)", said Cruz, who confessed that it would cost a lot to pay people smugglers to get her into the US. Since entering Mexico at its southernmost tip, the group has advanced roughly 95 miles.

She was suspicious of the government's proposal and said that some Hondurans who had applied for legal status had already been sent back.

On Friday evening, Irineo Mujica, whose organization People without Borders is supporting the caravan, accused Mexican immigration agents of harassment and urged migrants to travel closely together.

Several mayors have rolled out the welcome mat for migrants who reached their towns - arranging for food and camp sites.

Homeland security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said on Fox News Sunday Trump was determined to use every authority he had to stop immigrants crossing the border illegally.

The first group has about 4,000 people and still must travel 1,000 miles to reach McAllen, Texas. The trip could be twice as long if the migrants head for the Tijuana-San Diego frontier, as another caravan did earlier this year. So, much like the group before them, they stormed Mexico's southern border and forced their way across.

The Trump administration has blamed the Venezuelan government, billionaire George Soros and House Democrats for organising the caravan.

The caravan still must travel 1,000 miles to reach the nearest USA border crossing at McAllen, Texas, and the trip could be twice as long if the group of some 4,000 migrants heads for the Tijuana-San Diego frontier, as another caravan did earlier this year.

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