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Huge Christmas Eve migrant caravan heading north through Mexico

The biggest migrant caravan for 18 months set off for the US from Mexico on Christmas Eve as border crossing records continue to tumble....For More CONTINUE THE FULL READING▶▶

Around 10,000 people led by Mexican activist Luis Rey Garcia Villagran left the southern Mexican border town of Tapachula for the long march north as more of those already at the US border finished their journey this evening.

President Joe Biden has hauled Secretary of State Anthony Blinken away from the crisis in the Middle East for a summit with Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Wednesday, after US authorities recorded more than 242,000 migrants crossing in November alone.

Monday saw a one-day record high of 12,600 and more were risking their lives in the Rio Grande at Eagle Pass in Texas as darkness fell on Christmas Eve.

‘We are the poorest of the poorest of those at the peak of need, those of us who do not have money to pay for visas or people smugglers,’ said Villagran as the latest caravan set off.

Up to 10,000 migrants left from the Mexican town of Tapachula on Christmas Eve in the country's biggest migrant caravan for 18 months

Up to 10,000 migrants left from the Mexican town of Tapachula on Christmas Eve in the country’s biggest migrant caravan for 18 months

Meanwhile those who have made it to the US border were still attempting the dangerous crossing at Eagle Pass in Texas in the early hours of Christmas Eve

Meanwhile those who have made it to the US border were still attempting the dangerous crossing at Eagle Pass in Texas in the early hours of Christmas Eve

Biden spoke with his Mexican counterpart on Thursday ahead of a summit designed to ‘manage the unprecedented migratory flows in the western hemisphere’.

It came after US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had to suspend cross-border rail traffic in the Texas cities of Eagle Pass and El Paso as migrants were riding atop freight trains.

‘The two leaders agreed that additional enforcement actions are urgently needed to keep ports of entry can be reopened across our shared border,’ said White House spokesman John Kirby.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and US Homeland Security adviser Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall will also be in the party heading south to discuss ‘further actions that can be taken together to address current border challenges’.

On Friday, López Obrador said he would tell his visitors to ease sanctions on left-wing governments in Cuba and Venezuela and increase aid to Latin America to improve conditions in the migrants home countries.

‘That is what we are going to discuss, it is not just contention,’ he said after speaking to Biden.

But he will come under pressure to resume deportations from Mexico which were halted this month after funds ran out.

Mexican security forces did nothing to halt the march as it set off from the Guatemalan border

Mexican security forces did nothing to halt the march as it set off from the Guatemalan border

As many as 3,000 children were among migrants from 24 countries counted by observers

As many as 3,000 children were among migrants from 24 countries counted by observers

Organizer Luis Rey Garcia Villagran said those marching were the 'poorest of the poor' and unable to afford visas or people smugglers

Organizer Luis Rey Garcia Villagran said those marching were the ‘poorest of the poor’ and unable to afford visas or people smugglers

Children and pregnant women were among hundreds fording the chilly waters of the Rio Grande under cover of darkness to complete their journey to the US

Children and pregnant women were among hundreds fording the chilly waters of the Rio Grande under cover of darkness to complete their journey to the US

More than two million illegal crossings of the US border with Mexico have taken place in 2023

More than two million illegal crossings of the US border with Mexico have taken place in 2023

House Speaker Mike Johnson has urged Biden urging him to use the power of the executive to stem the flow of migrants after Congress failed to strike a deal on border changes that Republicans are demanding.

He demanded that CBP stop releasing apprehended migrants before they are given court dates, and restrict the use of parole which allows the president to temporarily admit some migrants.

He even urged Biden to suspend all immigration – using his authority under Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act which allows the president to halt the entry of any foreign citizens for an unspecified amount of time if allowing them in is deemed ‘detrimental’ to US interests.

‘Statutory reforms designed to restore operational control at our southern border must be enacted, but the crisis at our southern border has deteriorated to such an extent that significant action can wait no longer.

It must start now, and it must start with you,’ he told the president.

Sunday’s caravan is the largest since June 2022, when a similarly sized group departed as Biden hosted leaders in Los Angeles for the Summit of the Americas.

Another march set off through Mexico in October, coinciding with a summit organized by López Obrador to discuss the migration crisis with regional leaders.

A month later, 3,000 migrants blocked for more than 30 hours the main border crossing with Guatemala.

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken

Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken (left) will meet Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador for crisis talks in Mexico City on Wednesday

Villagran said around 3,000 children were among the latest marchers from 24 nations heading north from the Guatemalan border in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas.

Mexican security forces looked on without intervening as the convoy set out.

‘We’ve been waiting here for three or four months without an answer,’ said Cristian Rivera, traveling alone, having left his wife and child in his native Honduras.

‘Hopefully with this march there will be a change and we can get the permission we need to head north.’

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Kylian Walterlin

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