A new caravan of more than 500 migrants gathered at a bus station in a Honduran city Monday night to begin the perilous trek to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Members of the caravan, which left from the city of San Pedro Sula in northern Honduras, begged local shop keepers for food and water for their journey on their way out of town, Fox News reported.
President Trump cited the formation of new migrant caravans on Thursday to illustrate the necessity of the $5.7 billion in funding he has demanded Congress provide for the construction of a border wall.
“There is another major caravan forming right now in Honduras, and so far we’re trying to break it up, but so far it’s bigger than anything we’ve seen,” Trump said. “And a drone isn’t going to stop it and a sensor isn’t going to stop it, but you know what’s going to stop it in its tracks? A nice, powerful wall.”
The 6,000-person caravan that arrived in Tijuana, Mexico in the fall was organized by a number of pro-immigration activist groups but it remains unclear which, if any, organization orchestrated the latest mass movement. Many members of the last caravan are still waiting in Tijuana for their asylum claims to be processed.
The Mexican government recently vowed to work with the U.S. to ensure more migrants can claim asylum and find work in Mexico in order to reduce the burden on the overwhelmed U.S. asylum system. Mexican officials have announced that those migrants who enter Mexico lawfully will be allowed to keep traveling toward to the U.S. border while those that enter illegally will be deported.
More than 300,000 Central Americans entered Mexico illegally last year, 80 percent of whom were headed for the U.S. border, according to Mexico’s interior minister, Olga Sánchez Cordero.
A record number of family units arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border in December, further overwhelming an already strained asylum system that, due to current law, must be made available to every migrant who steps foot on U.S. soil.