illegal immigrants

Some 6,500 Honduran migrants in caravans traveling north to Guatemala, officials estimate

Reuters
Some 6,500 Honduran migrants in caravans traveling north to Guatemala, officials estimate

FIRST CARAVAN OF 2021. Hondurans taking part in a new caravan of migrants, set to head to the United States, cross the El Florido border crossing point into Guatemala, in El Florido, Guatemala on January 15, 2021.

Photo by Luis Echeverria/Reuters

The migrants are heading towards the United States a week before US President-elect Joe Biden takes office

Small skirmishes broke out between Honduran security forces and migrants trying to cross the border into Guatemala on Friday night, January 15, with Guatemalan officials estimating around 6,500 people to be heading north to the United States.

Groups of Hondurans continued to trickle past the border, even as the Guatemalan military detained hundreds of migrants, including many families with young children.

The spokeswoman for Guatemala’s immigration authority, Alejandra Mena, estimated that there were some 6,500 Hondurans making their way north, with 3,000 to 3,500 of them already in Guatemalan territory. A Honduran police officer told local television that “more or less 5,000 people” had walked past a checkpoint along a highway as they formed a caravan.

Honduras’ Security Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

A video seen by Reuters showed hundreds of Hondurans, chanting and holding up the Honduran flag, crossing the border at El Florido into Guatemalan territory.

The first migrant caravan of the year comes less than a week before US President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

While Biden has promised a more humane approach to migration, in contrast to outgoing President Donald Trump’s hardline policies, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico are coordinating security and public health measures to contain unauthorized crossings across the region.

That will likely provide some relief for Biden, whose aides have privately expressed concerns about the prospect of growing numbers of migrants seeking to enter the United States in the early days of his administration. – Rappler.com