Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico — A new caravan of around 1,800 Central Americans is making its way toward the U.S. The group started crossing into Mexico last weekend, and the long line to enter stretches back to a bridge on the border.
Thousands of migrants left Honduras a week ago after word about a new caravan spread on Facebook. The orderly lines are a stark contrast to October’s caravan, when an influx of migrants overwhelmed the Mexican government and created a bottleneck on the same bridge. Some jumped to swim to Mexico instead, and other migrants tore down a fence to gain entry.
Where there was once a fence, there’s now a gate that is wide open. But migrants have to wait on a long line. It’s the result of Mexico’s new open-door migration policy that is just a week old.
Every migrant that enters legally first gets a bracelet. With their wristband, they can get a humanitarian visa, which takes about five days. Once inside, migrants are photographed, interviewed, fingerprinted and get iris recognition scans to keep track of who is entering.
Marcos Alonzo, who earned $4 a day back home, left Honduras a week ago with a group. Though he could stay in Mexico for under the new policy, he’s bound for the U.S. He said he has heard about President Trump’s border wall, but doesn’t think it will go up by the time he arrives at the border.
Of the thousands of migrants that made it to the U.S. border in the last major caravan, less than 700 remain in Tijuana hoping for asylum.
CBS News asked officials in Mexico if they are incentivizing migrants to come north. They said the migrants will come no matter what and legal migration provides rights and protections. The question is how many will stay in Mexico and how many will head to the U.S.