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Migrant makes river crossing in desperate bid to reach Mexico

Migrant makes river crossing in desperate bid to reach Mexico

"The more the USA border has become militarized, the more migration has become the realm of organized criminal elements in Mexico, the more expensive it is for Central Americans, the more risky it is for Central Americans and the more that we're going to see these caravans that are a form of protection for Central Americans as they cross through Mexico", Oglesby said.

Migrants exhausted of waiting to cross into Mexico, jumped from a border bridge into the Suchiate River, in Tecun Uman, Guatemala, Oct. 19, 2018.

The Mexican government also released handout video of migrants on a bus being told by an official that they would be assisted in being processed for any asylum claims they may have.

"Coordinated smuggling of large numbers of Central Americans is taking place daily here", Yuma Sector Chief Patrol Agent Anthony Porvaznik said in a written statement.

He said he wants to reach the U.S.to work and save money before returning to Honduras.

Twenty-year-old Scarleth Cruz hoisted a crying, sweat-soaked baby girl above the crowd. Those who do so will be held "at a migratory station" for up to 45 business days.

Cruz, 20, said she was going to ask for political asylum because of threats and repression she faced back in Honduras from President Juan Orlando Hernandez's governing party.

The group of migrants, which has swelled to 5,000 according to the Associated Press, intends to reach the US, having overcome efforts by Mexican officials to thwart it.

More than 5,100 migrants have been registered in three shelters in the Mexican border town of Ciudad Hidalgo, while another 2,000 had camped out for the night in the town's central square, said Gerardo Hernandez, head of the local government's emergency services. Most had circumvented Mexican immigration officials and crossed the Suchiate river from Guatemala on rafts or by swimming. None were visibly detained despite the presence of hundreds of police lining the bridge.

Watch: Migrants break Guatemala-Mexico border fence on Friday.

Mexican authorities later opened the gates and allowed about 15 women and children through.

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"One can not live back there", said Fidelina Vasquez, a grandmother travelling with her daughter and 2-year-old grandson, standing next to the main border gate. "Change the immigration laws NOW!"

As the caravan of Central American migrants left the Mexico-Guatemala border, walking north in the heat, it became clear that the group had swelled in number.

Mexican authorities haven't said whether anyone from the caravan will be permitted to travel to the USA border.

"It's really full. You can't even walk, there's just so many people", he said referring to the plaza.

He said: "I don't want them in our country". That's a significant amount in low-wage Honduras.

Mark Stevenson reported from Ciudad Hidalgo, and Sonia Perez D. reported from Tecun Uman, Guatemala.

The president, without elaborating further, blamed the Democrats for the caravan on Twitter last week, blaming them for "weak laws". "I hope they continue". I call on the U.S. and Mexico to help us, because I am not a woman who needs handouts. It's unclear whether any have simply turned back.

An estimated 4,000 people made up the group waiting to cross into Mexico this week - a reflection of what Elizabeth Oglesby, a professor at the University of Arizona's Center for Latin American Studies, described as the growing size of migrant caravans.

Pompeo was in Mexico City to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray Caso.

"We're going to wait for those still on their way but who are close by" before trying to cross, Mario Mejia, who seemed to be one of the migrants' leaders, told AFP. They awoke amid trash and an unpleasant smell, as some had no choice but to relieve themselves in the same area.

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