A third caravan of migrants mostly from El Salvador continue to trudge north to the United States after circumventing the standard process for entering Mexico and wading across Guatemala’s Suchiate River instead.
Video published by The Guardian shows about 1,000-1,500 migrants making their way across a shallow portion of the river after officials at crossing bridge into Mexico demanded passports and visas and limited groups to 50 for processing. It’s the same gate where the first mob of migrants pummeled Mexican police with rocks and ravaged the facility until officials relented and let them through a few weeks ago.
On Friday, many in the third caravan avoided the conflict and simply hoisted their bags over their heads to easily wade across the river.
“It’s been tiring, but it’s worth it because my nephew wasn’t killed,” an obese woman told the camera as she strolled across a sand bar, flip flops in hand. “He didn’t want to join and get involved in the problems of the mara (gangs).”
“I’m here with him to try to save his life,” she said.
The third caravan remained more than 1,000 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border over the weekend, while two others creep closer.
The first group is now in Mexico City, where officials have prepared places for them to stay in the Jesus Martinez Palillo stadium. Locals donated food and clothing, and the city is prepared with large water tanks, to help the migrants refresh for the roughly 600-mile trek north.
So far, about 500 mostly men and boys have reached the Mexican capital, through city officials are anticipating women and children will soon follow, BBC reports.
“Our heads are set at getting to the United States, go fulfill the American dream,” Mauricio Mancilla told the news site. “We have faith in God that we will do this, whatever the circumstances.”
Mexico City leader Jose Ramon Amieva Galvez contends the city must “guarantee” the massive caravans special accommodations on the journey.
“There are pregnant women, many children, vulnerable people and we have to guarantee the space and the services they require,” he said.
The reception at the U.S. border is expected to be less hospitable.
President Trump is reportedly sending 15,000 active military to the border to support border patrol efforts, and he’s outlined plans to put up tent cities to house asylum seekers.
On Saturday, troops worked with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers to put down about 1,000 feet of barbed-wire fencing along the Rio Grande River, so wading across will be a problem.
Operation Faithful Patriot, the deployment of troops to the border, is addition to thousands of National Guard troops already at work, according to the New York Post.
“I saw that beautiful barbed wire going up,” Trump said at a Saturday campaign in Montana.