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Mexico City

Migrant Caravan Begins Next Stage of Its Journey

Voice of America
10 Nov 2018, 09:05 GMT+10

Hundreds of members of the migrant caravan making its way north to the United States left early Friday from the Jesus Martinez Stadium in Mexico City, eager to get back on the road.

Around 5,000 migrants are camped at the improvised refugee shelter set up about a week ago in Mexico City, where they are getting rest and medical care after several weeks of rugged travel conditions.

Migrants discuss their journey using a map posted inside the sports complex where thousands of migrants have been camped out for several days in Mexico City, Nov. 9, 2018.

The migrants are from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua and say they are fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries.

While many of those remaining at the stadium are hoping the United Nations or another organization will provide them with buses north, those who left Friday said they couldn't wait any longer.

Mexico City authorities provided those leaving with a free subway ride to the northernmost stop on the line. From there, they are headed for the city of Queretaro to the northwest.

Central American migrants stand waiting for a subway car after leaving the temporary shelter in the Jesus Martinez stadium, in Mexico City, Nov. 9, 2018.

The caravan members are ultimately expected to end up in Tijuana, the Mexican city just over the border from the U.S. state of California.

U.S. President Donald Trump has said they will not be allowed to cross the border into the United States. He has said the caravan contains criminals, terrorists, and 'unknown Middle Easterners.'

An agent with the U.S. Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC) holds his weapon from an armored vehicle ahead of exercises in Mission, Texas, Nov. 8, 2018.

He has said his move to deploy U.S. troops to the border shows the United States is 'not playing games.'

Mexican human rights officials say nearly all of the migrants are women, children, and the elderly. They say the men they have seen were traveling with their families.

The caravan left San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on October 13. Two other, smaller, caravans are also making their way north.

Ahead of the U.S. midterm elections on November 6, Trump made immigration a major campaign issue, accusing Democrats of being in favor of open borders while saying Republicans want to secure U.S. borders and tighten immigration laws.

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