Hundreds of asylum seekers are traveling together to the U.S. border

A border patrol vehicle on the U.S./Mexico Border. Hillebrand, Steve/Wiki commons

On October 9, a group of roughly 250 migrants gathered in Tapachula, Mexico to journey north through the country along la ruta migrante to the U.S. border where many will seek asylum. The group is composed of Central American men, women, and children who have been dispossessed by state and criminal violence that has created a humanitarian crisis in the region. Since departing, their numbers have swelled to roughly 400 and is currently in the Mexican state of Sonora.

The caravan is facilitated by Mexican and American volunteers from Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a migrants’ justice group. This particular caravan is known by the name Viacrucis Guadalupano Migrantes Solidarixs. The caravan is a solidarity mission raising awareness about humanitarian conditions in Central America and Mexico. As a demonstration of that idea, the group is engaging in clean-up and reconstruction efforts along the way.

La ruta migrante is considered incredibly dangerous. A recent study found that 80 percent of women and girls traveling the route are raped during the journey. Additionally, migrants traveling in smaller groups are easy targets for organized crime and run the risk of being robbed or kidnapped. The group hopes that by traveling en masse, they will have safety in numbers.

The group plans to present themselves at the California border some time in the next two weeks. As it has been widely reported, border agents have a long and apparently worsening record of wrongfully turning away asylum seekers, who are legally required to be given credible fear interviews to determine if they are eligible for asylum.