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Migrant caravan arrives at US-Mexican border

April 25, 2018 1:43 AM
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MEXICALI, Mexico: Around 100 Central American migrants from a caravan that infuriated President Donald Trump arrived Tuesday at the US-Mexican border, where many plan to seek asylum in the United States, according to organisers.

Two busloads of migrants arrived in the border city of Mexicali – which sits opposite Calexico, California – and paused for a rest stop before continuing west towards Tijuana, said AFP correspondents travelling with them.

The migrants are part of a caravan of more than 1,000 people that set out from Mexico's southern border on March 25.

Media coverage of the US-bound caravan triggered a flurry of furious tweets from Trump, who ordered thousands of National Guard troops to the US-Mexican border and called on Mexico to stop the migrants.

As the issue exploded into a diplomatic row, organisers of the caravan quietly broke it up.

But around 600 migrants are still travelling more or less together by hopping trains and taking buses. The first two buses will be followed by three more, said organiser Irineo Mujica of the migrant rights group People Without Borders.

"Half of them (the remaining 600) plan to stay in Mexico. We're helping them apply for refugee status here," he told AFP by phone from Hermosillo, about 270km from the border, where he was accompanying remaining migrants.

Around 200 migrants will seek asylum in the United States, fleeing brutal gang violence or political persecution in their home countries, he said. A handful of them have already been granted US asylum, he told AFP.

"It's hard to say, they don't tell you (they plan to sneak over the border). Some will, but probably not right now. There's too much pressure because of the troops Trump sent to the border," he said.

The caravan is a yearly event held since 2010 around Easter. Activists say its main goal is to raise awareness of the perils migrants face, not cross the border.


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