Migrant caravan stops for two days as it weighs offers to stay in Mexico or resume trek north in hope of seeking US asylum

Wednesday, November 7, 2018
By Paul Martin

Mexico has offered refuge to several thousands of migrants arriving in its capital city as part of the migrant caravan originating from Honduras in Central America
The Mexican government said 2,697 temporary visas had been issued to cover them over the 45-day application process for a more permanent status in Mexico
The group, which is now at 4,500 and may reach 5,500, is now weighing whether to accept that offer or press on to the US in hopes of seeking asylum
But Trump has ordered thousands of troops to the US-Mexico border and vowed to detain asylum seekers in tents cities
He’s also insinuated without proof that criminals or terrorists are in the group
The migrants are currently staged at Jesus Martinez stadium in Mexico City with a max capacity of about 6,000 people
Organizers are urging members of the caravan already in Mexico City to await the arrival of stragglers and perhaps even the other caravans further back
The idea is to find strength in numbers for those who do continue on to the US

7 November 2018

Thousands of Central American migrants will take at least a couple of days to rest in a Mexico City stadium as they debate whether to accept offers to stay in Mexico or continue their trek to the US border in hopes of seeking asylum in America.

Humanitarian aid stepped up on Tuesday for the roughly 4,500 Central American migrants gathered at the Jesus Martinez stadium after a difficult journey that has taken them through three countries in three weeks.

Mexico City officials said they are bracing for as many as 5,500 migrants total at the sports complex as more people in need trickle in, with the country of Mexico extending offers of refugee, asylum or work visas to the migrants.

Members of the caravans, which President Donald Trump made a central issue in the US’s midterm elections, declined to take an immediate decision on Tuesday night on whether to definitively stay in Mexico or continue north, opting to remain in the capital at least a couple of more days.

‘Nobody is in more of a hurry than me to get going (to the US border), but we have to go all together,’ Sara Rodriguez of Colon, Honduras, said.

Rodriguez, 34, fled her country with her 16-year-old daughter Emily, after the teen began to draw unwanted attention from a drug trafficker.

Rina Valenzuela, who is from El Salvdor, listened attentively to aid workers from the nonprofit Institute for Women in Migration as they explained the difficulties of applying for and securing asylum in the US.

The Mexican government said 2,697 temporary visas had been issued to individuals and families to cover them while they waited for the 45-day application process for a more permanent status.

Valenzuela decided she would be better off applying for refuge in Mexico.

‘Why go fight there, with as much effort and as much suffering as we have gone through, just for them to turn me back? Well, no,’ she said.

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