Mexican immigration officials are working to issue transit visas to hundreds of marchers from the Central American illegal alien caravan to ease their travel through the country, confirming prior reporting from Townhall.
According to the Associated Press, the Mexican government announced that 465 illegal aliens had officially applied for transit visas. By late Tuesday, 230 such visas had already been approved, with most of the rest expected to receive some type of visa to remain in Mexico legally.
A BuzzFeed News reporter who has been traveling with the caravan posted photos on Twitter showing some of the Central American migrants getting on buses to leave the group and travel further north, but did not specify where they were going:
Caught up with some guys from the caravan yesterday, who got permission from Mexican authorities to travel through the country, leaving via bus now that they don’t have to worry about getting stopped by immigration. pic.twitter.com/vYa4bvSVHH— Adolfo Flores (@aflores) April 5, 2018
People who have received humanitarian visas or permissions to remain in Mexico have been leaving since yesterday. A smaller version of the caravan, numbers unknown, with asylum seekers will continue on. pic.twitter.com/3CvW66O00C— Adolfo Flores (@aflores) April 5, 2018
Current reports about the caravan feature many marchers claiming that they intend to remain in Mexico.
For example, from the Associated Press:
Mayra Zepeda, 38, of Honduras, said that once she gets documents to cross Mexico, she and her husband will continue their journey toward the border city of Tijuana. She said they hope to find better paying jobs there and aren't planning to try to cross into the U.S.
And from BuzzFeed News [emphasis mine]:
It was not clear how many of the hundreds intended to stay in Mexico or travel on to the United States. Many said they were comfortable remaining in Mexico. Cristian Figueroa, a Honduran, said he planned to ask for permission to stay in Mexico and work in Tijuana, the border city south of San Diego. "You can very easily run into immigration and they'll ask for identification," he said. "This visa is very important to me."
Christian Vega… was one of about 250 to 300 migrants who boarded a freight train known as "The Beast" at Matías Romeo Avendaño on Sunday in hopes of speeding his journey north. But he came back after he lost track of his companions after getting off in Medias Aguas, Veracruz.
He plans on getting permission from the Mexican government to travel freely through the country and ask for asylum near the US border.
"Nothing is secure, the safest thing is to stay with the caravan," Vega said. "My mission is to get to the United States."
Organizers from Pueblos Sin Fronteras are also now stressing to media outlets that the main goal of the caravan is to help asylum seekers reach the central Mexican city of Puebla to attend a “migrants rights symposium” where they can learn about the legal strength of their asylum claims before then ending their journey in Mexico City.
In contrast, previous reports about the caravan clearly stated that most of the illegal aliens in it wanted to reach the United States either by crossing illegally at the border or applying for asylum.
As BuzzFeed News reported this past Saturday [emphasis mine]:
Organized by a group of volunteers called Pueblos Sin Fronteras, or People Without Borders, the caravan is intended to help migrants safely reach the United States, bypassing not only authorities who would seek to deport them, but gangs and cartels who are known to assault vulnerable migrants.
When they get to the US, they hope American authorities will grant them asylum or, for some, be absent when they attempt to cross the border illegally.
Organizers estimate that about two-thirds of people are planing [sic] on crossing into the United States undetected or asking for some type of protection like asylum.
This apparent contradiction between accounts raises a question: Are the caravan’s marchers or organizers shifting their story about wanting to go to the United States because of the media spotlight that has been placed upon them, or were previous reports about their intentions and purpose incorrect?
Another wrinkle in the story that may undercut claims from the Mexican government is the fact that, when BuzzFeed’s on-the-ground reporter tried to confirm the Mexican Secretariat of the Interior’s past claims to have deported 400 caravan members, he was told by both the marchers and an anonymous immigration officer that this had not happened.
However, regardless of the haze of uncertainty surrounding certain conflicting claims, one thing that everyone does appear to agree on is that the caravan is not really being disbanded. Instead, hundreds of Central American migrants are being granted free and legal passage through Mexico, which makes it much easier for any hopeful illegal immigrants to make it to the United States and cross our southern border.