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article imageMexico has 5,000 migrants register with immigration in four days

By Karen Graham     Jan 21, 2019 in World
Ciudad Hidalgo - Immigration authorities in Mexico have registered almost 5,000 Central American migrants over the past four days, many of whom entered the country at the southern border last week as part of a new caravan.
Mexico's National Immigration Institute (INM) has registered 4,912 migrants both at the border between Mexico and Guatemala at Ciudad Hidalgo, Chiapas and in the Tapachula central square where many have camped out since arriving last week, reports Mexico News Daily.
The migrants are from six countries, including Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Among those who have formally applied for formal immigrant status are 1,007 children and teenagers, as well as a number of previous caravan members who had remained in southwestern Chiapas.
At least 59 migrants have been issued humanitarian visas which allow them to work and have access to healthcare for 12 months. One young man, 27-year-old Honduran Bayron Adan Lara Mejia, said: “I feel Mexican now." He added that he didn't want to go to the United States, now.
According to Millenio, a little over 1,000 illegal immigrants are in a caravan headed to the Mexico-U.S. border. Milenio is also reporting that some migrants were persuaded by polleros, or people smugglers, in the Guatemalan border town of Tecún Umán not to go through official immigration channels when entering Mexico.
The Smugglers are apparently telling people if they register in Mexico, they will be deported "en masse" back to their country of origin.
Honduran migrants on the international border bridge between Guatemala and Mexico in Ciudad Tecun Um...
Honduran migrants on the international border bridge between Guatemala and Mexico in Ciudad Tecun Uman, Guatemala
JOHAN ORDONEZ, AFP
This latest caravan is the first one to enter the country since President López Obrador took office on December 1. However, in the final two months of Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration, thousands of migrants arrived as part of several groups. Lopex Obrador has publicly promised to treat the migrants with respect, even suggesting Mexico would find work for them.
Mexico's new open-door migration policy
Instead of a fence at its Southern border, Mexico now has a gate, and it is wide open, although migrants have to stand in a long line to get in. But it is part of Mexico's new open door migration policy that started last week, according to CBS News.
Every migrant that enters Mexico legally gets a bracelet that allows them to get a humanitarian visa, which takes about five days. As part of the legal entry procedure, the migrants are photographed, interviewed, fingerprinted and get iris recognition scans to keep track of who is entering.
CBS asked officials if they were encouraging migrants to come north into Mexico. Officials said migrants are going to come no matter what - adding that legal migration provides them rights and protections.
More about migrant caravan, staying in Mexico, immigrant status, six countries, caravan of about 1000
 
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