Mexico City, Jan 18 (IANS) A new migrant caravan that left Honduras earlier this week was nearing Mexico’s southern border, Mexican authorities said here.
The Interior Ministry said on Friday that thr National Institute of Immigration (INM) will deal with applications for temporary employment or asylum, and the migrants will be restricted to the southern area while their immigration requests are processed, reports Xinhua news agency.
“Those who freely and voluntarily decide to do so may remain in Mexico as temporary workers in the southern part of the country,” the Ministry said.
Hundreds of migrants including children joined the caravan in the northwestern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula on Wednesday, with many of them hoping to reach the US-Mexico border.
On Wednesday, Mexican Interior Minister Olga Sanchez Cordero ruled out granting entry to those trying to reach the US border via Mexico.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday that the caravan has between 2,500 and 3,000 Hondurans and Salvadorans, and that Mexico will offer them jobs, shelter and medical attention in the border area.
Media reports said the new caravan from Honduras was convened through social media as the previous ones.
Central American migrant caravans increased in number at the end of 2018 and beginning of 2019, sparking tensions between Mexico and the US.
The Mexican government, under threat of economic sanctions from Washington, has adopted a policy of treating migrants humanely while at the same time preventing them from approaching the US border, Efe news reported.
Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador make up the “Northern Triangle” of Central America, one of the most violent, poverty-ridden regions of the world.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of people from those countries undertake the arduous and dangerous journey northward in pursuit of a better life in the US.