HUIXTLA, MEXICO (AP) – Mexico’s migration agency has issued nearly 7,000 temporary documents and transit visas over the last few days to members of a migrant caravan which by Saturday had broken up in southern Mexico.
Hundreds of people were heading north in buses while others were spread out over various towns north of Tapachula, near the Guatemalan border, resting or waiting to receive money from relatives to continue their trip to the United States (US).
In its statement, the Mexican migration agency did not specify what kind of documents were issued but most of the migrants showed papers that gave them a period of one month or more to leave the country or begin regularisation procedures in Mexico. Most want to use the documents to reach the US border.
The migrant caravan left from Tapachula last Monday. But it had split up by Thursday, when regional leaders were meeting in Los Angeles at the Summit of the Americas to talk about migration and other issues.
US President Joe Biden and other Western Hemisphere leaders announced on Friday what is being billed as a roadmap for countries to host large numbers of migrants and refugees.
Meanwhile, the bus terminal in the southern Mexican town of Huixtla was filled with migrants looking for tickets north.
Since October, Mexican authorities have dispersed other caravans by offering to move migrants to other cities where they can legalise their status more quickly. The goal was to lessen migrant pressure in the south.
Human rights groups have criticised the migration agency’s lack of transparency in carrying out these procedures. Advocates also said authorities sometimes do not respect the documents.