About 100 members of the “Viacrucis Migrante 2018 (Migrant's Way of the Cross)” caravan arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border town of Mexicali on Tuesday.
The group of travelers, who piled into multiple buses, is expected to seek asylum from the United States, to the dismay of U.S. President Donald Trump, the organizer of the journey said. The caravan started out with some 1,000 people who left Mexico's southern border on March 25.
Trump had commented on social media before ordering thousands of National Guard troops to patrol the U.S.-Mexican border and urging Mexico to halt the migrants' journey.
People Without Borders organizer Irineo Mujica confirm that caravan continues with some 600 people still traveling, adding that there will be more bus arrival soon.
"Half of them (the remaining 600) plan to stay in Mexico. We're helping them apply for refugee status here," Mujica disclosed to AFP. The advocate said 200 migrants will seek asylum in the United States, fleeing brutal gang violence or political persecution in their home countries.
“They will wait for all those seeking asylum to be together,” Rodrigo Abeja, a coordinator from immigrant rights group Pueblo Sin Fronteras, said.
Several members of the caravan decided to stay in Mexico and are being processed for year-long visas by immigration authorities.
The United States and Mexico have been at odds since Trump indicated, while campaigning, that Mexico will be required to pay to build a wall to keep the Central Americans from crossing into the United States. On Monday, U.S. authorities released statements saying that measures would be put in place to repel the migrants' surge.
Many of the travelers have fled Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras because of threats on their lives or political persecution have the hope of receiving asylum in the United States.
The caravan has been an annual event since 2010.