Mexico detained 800 members of a 4,000-strong migrant caravan trying to cross the Mexico-Guatemala border on the way to the U.S., after praise from acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf for their efforts.
The National Migration Institute (INM) announced Thursday that it had moved 800 migrants, including unaccompanied minors, to Mexican immigration centers where they would be provided for and processed.
While some had received asylum forms, migrants whose legal status could not be resolved would be deported, INM said. It was also still looking for 200 migrants who had avoided the Mexican National Guard.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard added that several hundred were immediately sent back to their home countries. The caravan originated in Honduras.
The Trump administration praised Mexico’s efforts to halt the caravan, after Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador promised last year that Mexico step up its efforts to prevent the mass migration of undocumented immigrants, as caravans overwhelmed authorities last spring.
“The efforts by the Mexican National Guard and other officials have thus far been effective at maintaining the integrity of their border, despite outbreaks of violence and lawlessness by people who are attempting to illegally enter Mexico on their way to the United States,” Wolf said Wednesday. He also said DHS personnel were on the ground and assisting Mexican efforts.
The leaders of the Honduran caravan wrote a letter to the Obrador requesting that “all the members of the caravan receive the permission to move freely through Mexican territory,” but were met with resistance at the border and tried to force their way in.