Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the border, about 2,000 Central American migrants swam or rafted across a river separating that country from Guatemala, re-formed their mass caravan in Mexico and vowed to resume their journey toward the United States.
The migrants, who said they gave up trying to enter Mexico legally because the asylum application process was too slow, gathered on Saturday at a park in the border city of Ciudad Hidalgo. They voted by a show of hands to continue north en masse, then marched to the bridge crossing the Suchiate River and urged those still on it to join them.
“We are going to reach the United States,” said Erasmo Duarte, a migrant from Danli, Honduras, despite warnings to turn back this week from U.S. President Donald Trump, who has sought to make the caravan and border security in general into a campaign issue a little over two weeks before midterm elections.
The decision to re-form the migrant caravan capped a day in which Mexican authorities again refused mass entry to migrants on the bridge, instead accepting small groups for asylum processing and giving out 45-day visitor permits to some of them. Authorities handed out numbers for people to be processed in a strategy seen before at U.S. border posts when dealing with large numbers of migrants.