Migrant caravan: Some are at the border, most 1,000 miles away, some may stay in Mexico

MEXICO CITY — The first waves of the migrant caravan arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border near Tijuana on Tuesday, but the vast majority of the Central Americans remained more than 1,000 miles away, trying to pick up their pace in their quest to seek asylum. 

The roughly 350 migrants who reached the border were part of smaller splinter groups who grew impatient with the caravan’s progress, preferring to forego the security of traveling in numbers to more quickly file their asylum claims in the United States, according to local authorities and migrant advocates.

But an estimated 5,000 migrants spent Monday night in the central Mexican city of Guadalajara, before enduring another round of frustration during their attempts to move farther north on Tuesday. More than 2,000 more have received temporary visas to stay in the country.

The state government of Jalisco organized buses to take the migrants to the next state to the north, Nayarit, where they expected to have other buses waiting for them to continue the trek north, according to a statement from Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a migrant advocacy group traveling with the caravan. But the buses dropped off the migrants 55 miles away from Nayarit, leaving the migrants stranded.

“This is a clear decision by the Jalisco state government to get us out of Guadalajara,” Pueblo Sin Fronteras said in a statement. “It puts at risk the physical integrity, security and health of thousands of families with children, who are being left in the darkness of the early morning.”

Migrants half way in journey to border

Despite the new round of difficulties, Guadalajara marked the halfway milestone for the caravan, which set out Oct. 12 from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and has traveled roughly 1,400 miles. The caravan inched through Central America and southern Mexico, enduring brutal heat, torrential downpours and logistical complications.

The pace has accelerated as the group enters northern Mexico, sometimes traveling more than 100 miles a day, where temperatures are chillier than the subtropical south of the country. The capital city of Mexico City hosted the caravan for almost a week in a sports stadium at a cost of nearly $600,000, according to interim mayor José Ramón Avieva.

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