WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Migrants traveling in caravans have demanded for buses to aid their travel to the U.S. border, citing weather and security reasons.
- But earlier this week, U.N. officials in Mexico reported missing migrants who boarded two buses on their way to Mexico.
- As per data, 4,841 migrants including minors under 18 and children under 5 are being sheltered in Mexico City, while 4,000 more are in caravans traversing southern Mexico.
On Thursday, migrants from Central America travelling in caravans requested for buses for travelling to the U.S. border saying it is too cold and unsafe for them to continue walking and hitching rides.
Explaining their demand, caravan coordinator Milton Benitez said it will be colder in Northern Mexico and it is pretty dangerous to hike on highways due to drug cartels operating there. In addition, migrants who have hitched rides on trucks have been reported missing. This may be due to them getting lost because trucks take on different routes.
However, the U.N. human rights agency office in Mexico filed a report about migrants who boarded two buses in their trip to Mexico City earlier this week, whose whereabouts are still unknown.
Authorities in Mexico City reported that there were 4,841 registered migrants who are currently sheltered in a sports complex of which 1,726 are under 18, including 310 children under 5. Of the migrants, about 85 percent hail from Honduras, while the rest are from Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua.
Despite offers from the Mexican government, most of the migrants refused to stay while a few went back home.
On Wednesday, 37 people on a bus from Mexico City went back to their native countries. Meanwhile, International Organization for Migration Mexican representative Christopher Gascon reported an estimated 4,000 in caravans traveling through southern Mexico.
In a gathering of migrants, National Lawyers Guild member Jose Luis Fuentes informed them that California may be the longest route but it is the best border. Additionally, he also said that Texas may be the closest but is the worst. He also advised the migrants to get a lawyer and not to sign any document should they get separated from their children.
Other options such as refuge, asylum or work visas were provided to migrants according to other officials and advocates. Government also said that individuals and families were already issued 2,697 temporary visas while waiting for the 45-day application process for a permanent status.
While migrants have been flocking the U.S. border with hopes of securing a visa and good-paying jobs, President Donald Trump in turn has portrayed them as a major threat in his campaign during the midterm elections.