Hundreds of Central American migrants entered Mexico undocumented through an open border, in spite of the Government’s offer to give a humanitarian visa to transit freely for a year in the country.
Between Thursday and Friday, over a thousand Central American migrants crossed the border between Guatemala and Mexico, into the state of Chiapas.
“The road today was open,” said Marco Antonio Cortez, 37, a baker from Honduras traveling with his wife and children, ages 2 and 9. “They didn’t give us bracelets or anything, they just let us pass through Mexico migration.”
The Mexican government, led by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), is trying to guarantee the safe and orderly flow of people through the border and offered a one-year humanitarian visa. To Help with the process, on Thursday, officials gave migrants wrist bands to wear until they could register with authorities and continue with the humanitarian visa process that would last for five days.
According to the Mexican National Migration Institute, the migrants can stay in temporary shelters in Mexico until they receive humanitarian visas allowing them to remain in the country, or they can wait in Guatemala for their document to be ready, as was written in a statement.
The majority of those migrants who crossed the border undocumented, seek only to go to the United States (U.S.) and won’t stay in Mexico. Groups of migrants left El Salvador and Honduras earlier in the week, the latest in a string of caravans of people largely fleeing poverty and violence.
The caravans have inflamed the debate over U.S. immigration policy, with President Donald Trump using the migrants to try to secure backing for his plan to build a wall covering the country’s southern border with Mexico.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is pursuing a “humanitarian” approach to the problem, vowing to stem the flow of people by finding jobs for the migrants. In exchange, he wants Trump to help spur economic development in the region.