While the issue of illegal immigration and border security rages on, a new caravan made up of an estimated 15,000 Central Americans is said to be preparing to leave Honduras in mid-January, according to migrant rights advocates, The Los Angeles Times reported.
“They say they are even bigger and stronger than the last caravan,” said Irma Garrido, a member of the migrant advocacy group Reactiva Tijuana Foundation, according to the LA Times.
Garrido said the new caravan, which is already considerably larger than the one currently camped at the Mexico-United States border, will only grow. There are rumors more migrants will join the trek north as the group moves through El Salvador and Guatemala.
Garrido, however, believes the caravan plans to stay in Mexico.
“They will stay in the south of Mexico in Chiapas and Oaxaca. Their aim is to request work there,” he said, according to the LA Times.
Newly installed Mexican President Lopez Obrador promised employment visas to Central Americans who wished to live in Mexico, Newsweek reported.
The LA Times reported that a newspaper from southern Mexico, El Diario de Chiapas, discovered that news about the groups’ plans, their numbers and the routes they plan to take is being spread through social media.
The same method of communication was used by the last caravan, whose organizers have all but disappeared now that the caravan is at the southern border of the United States.
On Facebook, reaction in Chiapas to news of a second caravan was not all favorable.
“Well, now the government does something. That work is for Mexicans that need it,” said Anna Pérez from Palenque, Mexico, on Facebook. “Opportunistic people who just want to take advantage of the Mexicans.”
The caravan that left Honduras in October, drawing the ire of President Trump and capturing international media attention, was not the first. Crowds of migrants often travel together for protection from criminals who stalk the routes.