Migrant Caravan Gains THOUSANDS More Members, Expected To Hit U.S. By Election Day

A caravan of migrants which is heading for the United States may have doubled in size after new estimates say it could be upwards of 10,000 people. While other figures estimate the caravan is about 7,000 strong, that is still a significant increase from the just a couple hundred people it began with when it initially left Honduras.

From Fox News:

The caravan of Central American migrants has anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 people — mainly from Honduras — according to estimates.

U.S. and Mexican officials agreed upon a plan to handle the approaching caravan, a senior administration official told Fox News on Thursday. The plan includes Mexico requesting that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) establish shelters along its southern border with Central America, the official said.

UNHCR spokesman Chris McGrath confirmed Saturday the agency has “deployed teams to the Mexican border with Guatemala where they are working closely with Mexican officials . . . so all individuals can be processed and provided with essential services, including access to health services, food and shelter.”

Over the weekend, the caravan toppled the Mexico-Guatemala border fence and began entering Mexico, though it was met with some resistance. Police forces armed with riot protective gear were stationed at the border and prevented some entries. The rest of the caravan remained on the port-of-entry bridge. They did not stay there long…

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President Trump commented over social media that he was doing everything he could to prevent the caravan from entering the U.S. He said those within the caravan who wish to claim asylum would be denied if they fail to apply in Mexico first.

“Full efforts are being made to stop the onslaught of illegal aliens from crossing our Southern Border,” Trump tweeted. “People have to apply for asylum in Mexico first, and if they fail to do that, the U.S. will turn them away. The courts are asking the U.S. to do things that are not doable!”

And, “Every time you see a Caravan, or people illegally coming, or attempting to come, into our Country illegally, think of and blame the Democrats for not giving us the votes to change our pathetic Immigration Laws! Remember the Midterms! So unfair to those who come in legally.”

According to the Fox News report, Mexico is processing the first wave of asylum claims but many members of the caravan refused to cooperate with the laws and are moving forward. The Mexican government has also sent 700 police officers to their southern border in an effort to help:

During the lengthy asylum process, applicants are supposed to remain near an immigration station and sign in each week. Once granted, they can move freely in Mexico. Last year, roughly 9,000 Central Americans received asylum in Mexico but the system is severely backlogged.

If their asylum claim is denied, Mexico says they will be deported.

The Washington Examiner reports some members of the caravan are planning to move forward without cooperating with Mexican officials:

Thousands of Central American migrants, primarily from Honduras and Guatemala, headed north through Mexico toward the U.S. on Sunday, brushing past efforts by Mexican authorities attempting to stop their advance at the border.

Many of the migrants who grew impatient worked their way around a border gate and crossed into Mexico. The caravan has been shadowed by Mexican authorities but have so far not been stopped.

It is unclear what the Mexican officials will do should the caravan reach the U.S.-Mexican border. Trump administration officials have said they are counting on Pena Nieto’s government to address the situation. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Pena Nieto in Mexico City on Friday to press the president to stop the caravan.

Trump also blamed Democrat lawmakers for the ongoing immigration crisis with bad immigration laws: