Bound Migrants Reach Central Mexican City of Irapuato

Mexican authorities say there are more than 300 children under 5 in the caravan that has reached Mexico City

Thousands of Central American migrants made a decision to depart Mexico City early Friday and head toward the northern city of Tijuana, opting for the longer but likely safer route to the USA border, caravan organizers said. But he later said to The Associated Press the officials had offered them buses for women and children but organizers demanded that they be for everyone. But the meeting with United Nations officials was continuing into the evening Thursday, representatives of the United Nations and the caravan confirmed.

Others were given juice and ham sandwiches from volunteers as they set out.

Migrants resumed their march north on Saturday morning after spending nearly a week in Mexico City.

Their day began with dedicated Mexico City metro trains whisking them to the outskirts of the capital.

"Let's go, let's go!" shouted Eddy Rivera, 37, a rail-thin migrant from Honduras who said he couldn't take staying in the camp any longer.

"We're all sick from the cold, from the humidity". "Because we're advancing little by little, but all of us here are moving forward". Their plan was to walk to the central Mexican city of Queretaro on Friday. On Thursday, the White House announced that migrants will not be allowed to enter the US illegally to file asylum claims, which is how the vast majority of roughly 150,000 Central American families and children entered the USA last fiscal year.

But despite U.S. officials reinforcing the border with the deployment of the Army and Marine Corps, migrants resumed the walk north on Saturday following a week-long resting Mexico City.

To get there, migrants will have to travel some 1,700 miles (2,735km) to the northwest, a much longer route than to the nearest United States border crossing at McAllen, Texas, which many consider to be the safest option.

Those reaching the border will have a tougher time applying for asylum if they choose to cross into the USA illegally.

"California is the longest route but is the best border, while Texas is the closest but the worst" border, said Jose Luis Fuentes of the National Lawyers Guild.

"We need buses to continue travelling", said Milton Benitez, a caravan coordinator. He said they were headed to USA for a better life where they could work for more than just putting food on the table. Drug cartels and gangs operate in many parts of northern Mexico.

The caravan became a campaign issue in USA midterms election and Trump has ordered the deployment of over 5,000 military troops to the border to fend off the migrants.

Mexico has offered refuge, asylum or work visas to the refugees, and its government said 2,697 temporary visas had been issued to individuals and families to cover them while they wait for the 45-day application process for a more permanent status.

On Wednesday night, a bus left from Mexico City to return 37 people to their countries of origin.

So far, around 7,000 troops have been sent to the US-Mexico border after a decision to deny asylum to anyone crossing into the United States illegally.

The Mexican government has said most of the migrants have refused offers to stay in Mexico, and only a small number have agreed to return to their home countries.

Many say they are fleeing rampant poverty, gang violence and political instability primarily in the Central American countries of Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

Those distances will get longer the farther they travel into northern Mexico, where towns of any size are often 250 miles (400 kilometers) apart.

The U.N. human rights agency said its office in Mexico had filed a report with prosecutors in the central state of Puebla about two buses that migrants boarded in the last leg of the trip to Mexico City early this week, and whose whereabouts are not known.

QUERETARO, Mexico Local Mexican officials again helped thousands of Central American migrants find rides today on the latest leg of their journey toward the US border.

The caravan, she said, had already been hitchhiking rides from dump trucks and trailers for weeks.

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