Migrants Break Free of City, Head to US Border

Delays in refugee paperwork leads to march of more than 2K in Mexico
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 23, 2021 3:50 PM CDT
Tired of Delays, Migrants Head to US Border
Mexican National Guard officers walk in formation Saturday as they prepare to form a barricade to stop a caravan of migrants from leaving Tapachula.   (AP Photo/ Edgar H. Clemente)

Over 2,000 migrants, mainly Central Americans, began walking out of a city in southern Mexico on Saturday where they have essentially been trapped. The migrants walked along a highway leading west and north from Tapachula toward the US border, and pushed past a line of state police who were trying to stop them. There were minor scuffles, the AP reports, but the migrants continued on their way. Police, immigration agents, and the National Guard have broken up smaller attempts at similar breakouts earlier this year.

Tens of thousands of migrants from Honduras, El Salvador, and Haiti have been waiting in Tapachula for refugee or asylum papers that might allow them to travel but have grown tired of delays in the process. The march did not include as many Haitian migrants as previous marches; thousands of them reached the US border around Del Rio, Texas, in September. In August, National Guard troops in riot gear blocked several hundred Haitians, Cubans, and Central Americans who set out walking on a highway from Tapachula.

Mexico requires migrants applying for humanitarian visas or asylum to remain in the border state of Chiapas, next to Guatemala, for their cases to be processed. In January, a larger caravan of migrants tried to leave Honduras but was blocked from crossing Guatemala. The marches are reminiscent, but nowhere near as large, as the migrant caravans that crossed Mexico in 2018 and 2019.

(Read more migrants stories.)

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