The organizer of a massive migrant caravan attempting to make its way to the United States says that the Mexican government has offered work visas to migrants, which would allow them to travel freely through the country.
Caravan leader Luis Villigran told Fox News that Mexican officials have told him it will begin issuing 1,000 temporary work visas a day to the migrants in the caravan — which are estimated to number approximately 12,000 — as early as tomorrow.
AS MIGRANT CARAVAN MARCHES TOWARD US BORDER, HARRIS UNVEILS CENTRAL AMERICAN YOUTH PROGRAM
While that would grant the migrants the ability to work in Mexico, it would also give them the ability to travel freely throughout the country — meaning that many of them will likely continue their journey to the U.S.-Mexico border and seek to gain entry to the U.S.
The caravan set off from Tapachula, Mexico earlier this week and has so far met little resistance from Mexican authorities. Organizers also said that the caravan had hit a police check where there were the Mexican National Guard, immigration officials and state police — they are said to have let the caravan through “freely.”
It’s one of a number of massive caravans in recent years that has made its way toward the U.S. border, including one in October last year — which are typically broken up by Mexican authorities before they reach the border.
The U.S. has been seeing massive migrant numbers, with caravan-size migrant numbers being encountered every few days by agents along the border. There were more than 234,000 encounters in April alone along the border, and Border Patrol officials have said that they are encountering large migrant groups — although the caravan would be one of the larger caravans encountered in recent years.
Officials have said they expect the numbers, which have skyrocketed under the Biden administration, to keep rising in the southern months.
The caravan’s departure comes as the Biden administration has been seeking to end the Title 42 public health order, which has been used by both the Trump and Biden administrations to remove a majority of migrants at the border due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The administration was blocked from ending the restrictions on May 23 by a federal judge, who imposed a preliminary injunction after a lawsuit from two dozen Republican states claimed the move was unlawful and would impose significant costs on states. The Biden administration has said it is appealing that ruling.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said last month that Border Patrol is dealing with “numbers at historic levels.” But, he said that it was due to people “fleeing violence, corruption, poverty, climate change, and other hardships.”
Vice President Kamala Harris, meanwhile, is currently at the Summit of the Americas in California, where she has announced a number of initiatives and investments to tackle the “root causes” that the administration believes is driving the migrant crisis.
Earlier Tuesday, her office announced a new program for Central American youth that would get young El Salvadorans, Guatemalans and Hondurans paid community service opportunities on issues like “climate action” and violence prevention.