SUCHIATE, Mexico – The first members of the new caravan of Honduran migrants arrived at the border between Guatemala and Mexico on Thursday and submitted immigration documents requesting asylum in the latter country.
About 100 people waited in a disciplined line, as instructed by personnel from Mexico’s National Migration Institute (INM), the institution that is distributing the ID cards designed to enable them to gain access to basic health services and secure employment on Mexican territory.
The INM said that it will accelerate the procedure for distributing the cards, trying to process each application within five days rather than the normal 30.
In addition, Mexican authorities increased the number of immigration agents on hand to deal with the heavy flow of people seeking entry into the country.
Upon entry, the migrants will be directed to a nearby shelter in the town of Suchiate, in the southern state of Chiapas.
In an interview with Milenio television, INM chief Tonatiuh Guillen ruled out the intervention of the Federal Police in the situation.
“The view of the situation that happened last year is completely ruled out, meaning that there will be no Federal Police at the border bridge. There will be no strategy of physical containment,” he said.
To enter Mexico, the caravan members need only show valid identification to be able to receive a wristband identifying them.
Tulio Marcia Caballero, one of the people waiting in line, told EFE that she and her family left their country seeking “a better opportunity” and hoping to find it in Mexico, ruling out – for now – continuing northwards to try and reach the United States.
Meanwhile, Mexican authorities are attending to the first 100 migrants and expecting another batch to arrive later on Thursday afternoon.
In recent days, at least two new caravans have set out from Central America, one consisting of about 1,700 Hondurans and another of about 100 Salvadorans.