DALLAS (NewsNation Now) — A new migrant caravan that started a journey toward the U.S. just days ago has turned around due to exhaustion, illness and a lack of money.
About 2,000 migrants, mainly from central America and the Caribbean, left southern Mexico on Sunday.
By Monday morning, the group had traveled about 15 miles from Tapachula. Migrants say they couldn’t wait there, because there was no work and saying the conditions were “prisonlike.
“We’re looking for the best solutions to get out of Tapachula because here in Tapachula, we’re not doing anything.,” said Lorenzo Pierre, a Haitian migrant “We’re only spending money and we do not have money to spend.”
Thousands in the group waited for hours at an immigration processing center inside an Olympic stadium. But their efforts were short-lived, with hundreds of them already turning around and headed back home.
“The current conditions in the plaza are atrocious,” said another Haitian migrant, who left with his family after there weren’t enough buses to take them to Mexico City. He says they decided to stop suffering.
Some have made it further north and inland, such as the city of Reynosa. But they await their asylum cases in filth.
“These people are living under tarps and in tents right on top of each other,” said Erin Hughes, the co-founder of Solidarity Engineering. “Every time it rains, it becomes an inaccessible, muddy mess.”
Solidarity Engineering is a female-led firm improving living conditions for asylum-seekers in the Reynosa camp. The camp is currently housing about 2,500 migrants in an encampment originally meant for about 300.
“We are under the international acceptable requirements for water and bathrooms,” Hughes said. “There’s no showers there.”
Any day now, the Trump-era “remain in Mexico” policy could be reinstated. If Mexico agrees, more migrants will be headed back to Mexico to await their cases.
That’s a move supporters say will slow the surge.
“We take custody of these illegal aliens. Now they need counsel, now they need all these other resources that we provide in our criminal justice system,” said Victor Avila, a former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent. “So it does get complicated and it’s costly.”