People worried about a looming migrant caravan may be happy to know that the once estimated 7,000-strong group has split up.
According to the Washington Examiner, nearly 3,000 people from the group are splitting off and will no longer continue their intended route to the United States. Those individuals could then choose to settle in Mexico or head back to their home countries.
From the report:
Nearly 3,000 migrants who had been a part of caravans moving from Central America to the United States’ southern border have abandoned the group to either stay in Mexico or return to their home countries in Central America, according to Mexican government officials.
Mexico’s Interior and Foreign Ministries reported, as of Thursday, 2,934 people originally traveling to the U.S. have stopped and applied for asylum in Mexico.
Of those, 927 have canceled their asylum claim with the Mexican government and returned to Guatemala and Honduras, where the caravans originated, according to a government news release.
The two Mexican departments said federal police and immigration officers are helping transport those who chose to return home.
The departure still leaves 4,000 people within the migrant caravan currently traveling north through Mexico, intending to arrive at the U.S. in a couple of weeks.
The Washington Examiner reports that 2,000 others are remaining in Mexico and are waiting for a pending asylum request. As the request could take between 45 and 90 days to process, housing has been provided for 1,553 people.
“Mexico’s Commission for Refugee Aid is overseeing the application process and fielding all requests for asylum, not the U.N.,” the report adds.
President Trump has repeatedly dismissed the idea of the migrant caravan coming into the country and could be sending up to 15,000 U.S. troops to the southern border over the next couple of weeks. More than 2,000 troops are currently stationed at the border in a mix of National Guard and active Army soldiers.
From CBS News:
Trump has ordered U.S. troops to the Mexican border in response to the caravans of migrants. More than 7,000 active duty troops have been told to deploy to Texas, Arizona and California.
U.S. military units in San Antonio and other locations in Texas, California, and Arizona are going through specific training and rules along the border, CBS San Antonio affiliate KENS reports. Joint Base San Antonio – Lackland Air Force Base is one of the primary locations where training is underway.
Trump said he has told the U.S. military mobilizing at the southwest border that if U.S. troops face rock-throwing migrants, they should react as though the rocks were “rifles.” He also plans to sign an order next week that could lead to the large-scale detention of migrants crossing the southern border and bar anyone caught crossing illegally from claiming asylum.
In a tweet, Trump said, “illegal Immigration hurts American workers, burdens American taxpayers, undermines public safety, and places enormous strain on local schools, hospitals, and communities.”
He also said that troops being mobilized to the border would prevent the migrant caravan from crossing illegally into the country.
As for when the caravan could arrive at the U.S. border, it could be several more weeks.
Per the Washington Examiner:
The government said one the group was expected to arrive in the Matias Romero region of Oaxaca by Friday. The state is 1,000 miles south of South Texas, the most southern part of the U.S. It’s not clear which part of the U.S. the group is planning to travel to.
And, per Vox:
It’s unlikely that any members of the caravan will be crossing anytime soon: The lead group of the caravan, which numbers about 4,000 people, is still in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, and at its current pace will take six weeks or longer to reach the United States.