[Ed. – Original estimates were an eventual caravan strength of about 5,000, but that was before Mexico altered the policy for temporary visas. Now that migrants can get them more easily entering Mexico, it appears the number has jumped considerably. Note that the policy just changed last week, meaning word of it spread immediately and thousands of “migrants” sprang into action. This isn’t a spontaneous, uncoordinated thing going on. Most of the “migrants” still intend to get to the U.S.; the net effect will be to leave more of them in Mexico to continue trying, rather than Mexico sending them back home.]
The ranks of a new Central American migrant caravan reportedly grew in size to more than 12,000 as of Friday. The caravan is now heading to Mexico’s southern border.
Mexican immigration officials in the city of Ciudad Hidalgo, which borders Guatemala, are establishing procedures to expedite the process in which to approve one-year humanitarian visas for members of the Central American migrant caravan who are arriving daily. The one-year humanitarian visas, promised by Mexico’s new President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, is a newly adopted policy which allows migrants to legally travel and work during their stay in Mexico.
The new policy of handing out humanitarian visas began on January 17 in response to the new caravan of primarily Honduran migrants who left their home country and headed towards the Mexican border on January 15.