HUIXTLA, Mexico — Several thousand migrants who left for southern Mexico with the aim of reaching the United States dissolved their march on Sunday after Mexican authorities issued around 3,000 temporary residence permits.
The permits will allow migrants, mostly Venezuelans and Central Americans, to stay in Mexican territory for up to 30 days while they complete immigration procedures, officials from Mexico’s National Migration Institute have said.
“We will continue to the United States by bus because we already have the permit. We don’t have to walk anymore,” said a Venezuelan, William Molina, after receiving his permit. He is traveling with 10 relatives.
The group, which began marching from the border town of Tapachula on Friday, was the ninth migrant caravan to form so far this year in southern Mexico.
Migration has come to the fore again after the discovery last week of an abandoned freight truck in San Antonio, Texas, with more than 60 migrants inside. Fifty-three of them died.
The tragedy coincided with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing the Biden administration to end a measure imposed by President Donald Trump that forced asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while U.S. authorities processed their cases. asylum applications.
While the migrant caravans have attracted media attention, those who participate in them represent a small percentage of the migratory flow that arrives daily at Mexico’s border with Guatemala, usually with the help of smugglers.
Another Venezuelan in the group, Francisco Daniel Marcano, said he hoped the permit would help him reach northern Mexico and enter US territory. But, he said, if he fails to enter the United States, he will try to find a job in northern Mexico to earn money to send to his parents and three children in the country. Venezuela.
In the past 30 days, at least three large groups totaling around 13,000 people have attempted to leave the border with Guatemala on foot, according to Mexico’s immigration agency.
Many migrants oppose the Mexican strategy of keeping them in the south, away from the US border. They say the process of normalizing their status – usually through an asylum application – is taking too long and they cannot support themselves by waiting weeks in Tapachula because jobs are scarce.
But the last caravans, mostly made up of whole families, only managed to advance about 45 kilometers (28 miles) to Huixtla, where Mexican authorities managed to disperse the groups by granting residence permits temporary.