Early on Friday morning, thousands of Honduran migrants started to make their way towards the Guatemalan border, “driven by deepening poverty and the hope of a warmer reception if they can reach the United States border.”
According to Yahoo News, “estimates of their number ranged from 2,000 to more than twice that,” as “young men and entire families carrying sleeping children set out.”
A new migrant caravan headed for the United States advances towards Guatemala from Naco, Honduras. pic.twitter.com/ZJczwy0civ
— The Hill (@thehill) January 15, 2021
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is top of mind for several Central American governments as the caravan began its long journey. On Wednesday night, Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei called for a “state of prevention” along the border with Honduras, noting “the threat of migrants entering without required documentation and without following pandemic-related screening at the border,” and that “more than 2,000 national police and soldiers would be stationed at the border.” The country will also require proof of a negative COVID-19 test before allowing entry.
In Mexico, the country’s National Immigration Institute “posted videos showing hundreds of agents and National Guard members drilling on the southern border. It said the agents are ‘keeping vigilant in the states of southern Mexico … to enforce the immigration law.’”
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