The caravan of roughly 1,000 Central Americans moving toward the United States appeared to be splintering into smaller groups and “dispersing” to avoid US Border Patrol, after drawing the ire of President Trump and capturing the attention of the nation.
The large group has been camped out in the town of Matias Romero in the southern part of Mexico since the weekend, after starting a trek from the Guatemala-Mexico border on March 25. It reached a peak of about 1,500 but a spokesperson for the advocacy group Pueblo Sin Fronteras – which organized the caravan and sought to draw attention to the rights of migrants – told Reuters that many people had broken off and were continuing the route on their own.
“Now they’re separating these groups,” Ellis Garcia told Reuters. “I don’t know what’s the deal, we have no answers.”
As the caravan began to attract growing attention in the U.S., Mexico began cracking down on the group. The Mexican government said in a statement late Tuesday that its immigration policy “is not subject to pressure,” but noted the caravan “began to disperse by decision of the participants.” It said 465 people had asked for transit visas and 230 had gotten them, and another 168 were likely to get some sort of visa to stay in Mexico.
Officials previously said 400 people in the caravan to be sent back to their home countries. That prompted the caravan to break apart, organizers said.
An estimated 300 people split from the larger caravan on Monday, while advocacy groups told the news agency dozens of other people split off to the eastern state of Veracuz only to be met by Mexican immigration officials and police.
On Tuesday, Trump announced he would deploy the National Guard to protect the border until a wall can be built. Over the past 12 years, presidents have twice sent National Guard troops to the border to bolster security and assist with surveillance and other support.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
April 4th, 2018