UPDATED 7:52 AM PT — Thursday, March 7, 2019
A new migrant caravan has reportedly made its arrival just south of California’s border with Mexico. Reports released this week claimed more than 400 Central American migrants arrived in Mexicali on Wednesday, following a two-month journey by train.
The migrants are said to have used a freight train nicknamed “The Beast” as means of transportation to arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border. The Mexican government deemed riding the train illegal in 2014, though it’s unclear how well authorities actually enforce the law.
Some passengers are believed to have boarded the train more than two-months ago, riding the vessel more than 2,500 miles from Guatemala to the U.S. border. Migrants use ‘The Beast’ as a way to avoid paying traffickers to help them on their journey.
Officials said hundreds of migrants from the caravan just recently passed through Mexicali on their way to Tijuana, where they’re now expected to try and apply for asylum in the U.S.
This comes as Customs and Border agents say tens of thousands of migrants cross the border illegally every month, resulting in strained resources and overcrowded shelters.
“CBP released the numbers of enforcement actions at our southwest border for both illegal crossings between ports of entry and inadmissible arrivals at ports of entry for the month of February. These numbers reflect the highest level of illegal apprehensions of any February in over a decade. In total we saw more than 76,000 apprehensions and inadmissible arrivals, and within that number in just four weeks we saw 40,385 members of family units and 7,250 unaccompanied children.”
— Kevin McAleenan, commissioner – Customs and Border Protection