As the 7,000+ migrant caravan treks through Mexico on their way to the United States, a second migrant caravan has formed and is traveling through Guatemala.
The second caravan originated in Honduras, and crossed into Guatemala on Sunday, containing an estimated 1,000 migrants, according to a Reuters report on Tuesday.
The additional caravan is said to be following the same path as the first caravan, and may be trying to catch up with it. Guatemalan migrant shelter, Casa del Migrante, said at least 1,000 migrants were a part of the movement, while local media estimated at least 2,000.
YESTERDAY: Second migrant caravan headed to the U-S entered El Salvador. https://t.co/5bFBD5dlzc pic.twitter.com/shXES53s2W
— The Hill (@thehill) October 19, 2018
The original caravan now is estimated to contain between 7,000 and 10,000 migrants, primarily from Honduras as they escape extreme poverty and violence.
The caravan stopped in Huixtla in the state of Chiapas, located approximately 31 miles inside the border. They have approximately 1,100 more miles to travel until reaching the U.S. border.
Locals provided sustenance and clothing donations, along with authorities who also administered vaccines to the migrants. Additionally, a medical truck has set up a mobile clinic to treat injured migrants.
A second migrant caravan of about 1,000 people, mostly asylum seekers from Honduras, is headed to the Guatemala-Mexico border, according to local Guatemalan shelters. pic.twitter.com/4hSEwvPMdI
— AJ+ (@ajplus) October 23, 2018
Two migrants have died in the caravan march so far. One was killed when he fell off a truck loaded with migrants in Mexico. The other was killed while attempting to get onto a similar truck.
Mexican officials confirmed receipt of 1,699 applications for asylum, and estimates some 4,500 people in the caravan.
Numerous migrants in the march have admitted to returning after deportation – some multiple times.
Imner Anthony Fuentes, 29, was deported from Alabama just five months ago, according to Fox News. He’s trying to return to his son and girlfriend, despite having been deported six times. “They catch you, and you try to get back,” he said.
Some migrants were hoping to find work in the U.S. while others were returning to the families they left behind after being deported.
“It’s a lot bigger than 5,000 people,” President Trump said of the caravan, “and we’ve got to stop them at the border.”
President Trump has promised to cut foreign aid to Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala for failing to stop the caravan. Additionally, he’s alerted the U.S. military and border patrol of the caravan’s approach, which he referred to as a national emergency.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen warned that the caravan could contain criminals and smugglers.
“While we closely monitor the caravan crisis, we must remain mindful of the transnational criminal organizations and other criminals that prey on the vulnerabilities of those undertaking the irregular migration journey,” Nielsen said, as reported by Daily Mail.
“We shall work with our partners in the region to investigate and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law all who seek to encourage and profit from irregular migration,” she added.