Mexico’s government said that it largely halted a caravan of undocumented Central Americans migrants who waded across a river into Mexico, and says others who attempt to enter the country illegally will face the same consequences.
The caravan, part of a group of several thousand people who last week fled rampant gang violence and dire job prospects in Honduras, are a major test for Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s strategy for stopping U.S.-bound migrants.
Though President Donald Trump’s promised border wall has not been built, the number of migrants crossing the southern U.S. border has dropped sharply as Mexico stepped up the policing of its borders under the threat of punitive U.S. tariffs.
Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said about 1,000 people managed to cross the country’s southern border on Monday from Guatemala.
Mexico’s National Migration Institute (INM) said it deported 219 migrants to Honduras by plane in two separate flights. Ebrard said another 144 people were sent by bus.
“These two flights are the first of the year and we expect to carry out more in the coming days,” the INM said.
On Monday the INM said it detained 402 migrants and transferred them to immigration stations where they will receive food, water and shelter. The INM will return them to their home countries via airplane or bus if their legal status cannot be resolved.
It is unclear if some of those deported are the same people whom the INM said it had detained.