The Mexican government said late Monday it will disband the caravan of more than 1,000 Central American migrants that has been traveling north to the U.S. border for the past nine days.
Mexico’s National Institute of Immigration (INAMI) will grant humanitarian visas to certain vulnerable individuals within the group, such as as pregnant women and people with disabilities, reports BuzzFeed’s Adolfo Perez, who is embedded with the caravan. The remaining migrants will have to petition the Mexican government to stay, or they will be ordered to return to their home countries.
The caravan, which numbers about 1,200, is currently in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. Organized by the group Pueblos Sin Fronteras (People Without Borders), it has been trekking north through Mexico with the aim of drawing attention to “migrant rights” and, potentially, applying for asylum in the U.S.
In a statement released Monday night, the Mexican foreign ministry said 400 of the migrants in the caravan entered Mexico illegally and had already been repatriated. The remaining migrants will be subjected to an “administrative migration procedure,” the government said, though it was unclear how many marchers would be allowed to continue their journey to the U.S. border.