Members of the migrant caravan headed to the U.S. border rejected an offer from Mexico to remain and chose in stead to continue their trek north.
The announced plan by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, called “Estas en Tu Casa,” Spanish for “This is Your Home,” offered the migrants temporary identification and work permits as well as medical care and housing, according to the BBC.
Mexico’s #President, @EPN offers medical care, education for children and temporary ID cards to #Migrants that come to #Mexico. #EstásEnTuCasa#ADN40News with @Amsalazar and @AgustinBarriosG | https://t.co/aTkQJpFqLg pic.twitter.com/ANQAPpSzLB
— adn40 (@adn40) October 27, 2018
“Today, Mexico extends you its hand,” Nieto told the migrants. “This plan is only for those who comply with Mexican laws and it’s a first step towards a permanent solution for those who are granted refugee status in Mexico.”
While more than 1,700 members of the caravan accepted the offer, according to the Associated Press, thousands of others vowed to keep marching north.
Our goal is not to remain in Mexico,” a migrant from Honduras told the AP. “Our goal is to make it to the [U.S.]. We want passage, that’s all.”
“The majority plan to cross the border. And that’s my intention, too,” Jose Santos, from Honduras, told the BBC.
“Because, yes, while life here is calmer than at home, it’s still not like the US where it would get better. That’s the goal,” he added, “to have a better life.”
“Gracias!” but “No, we’re heading north!” others responded.
By Saturday, reports revealed that hundreds of Mexican federal officers were blocking the caravan after the Nieto’s offer was rejected.
According to Fox News:
A standoff unfolded Saturday as federal police officers blocked the highway, saying there was an operation underway to stop the caravan. On the northern side of the city of Arriaga, thousands of migrants remained on the highway waiting to advance.
At a meeting brokered by Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission, police said they would reopen the highway and only wanted an opportunity for authorities to explain Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s offer of shelter, medical attention, schooling and jobs to Central Americans. Migrants rejected the plan Friday night and said they want to at least arrive safely in Mexico City to discuss the topic further.
Meanwhile, the White House is reportedly looking at possible administrative, legal and legislative measures to slow, and perhaps prevent, the illegal immigrants from crossing over the U.S. border. Hundreds of U.S. troops were also reportedly being ordered to the southern border to assist Border Patrol.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who spoke at the unveiling of a section of Trump’s new border wall in California on Friday, said “everything is on the table” as far as border security in an interview on Fox News’ “The Story With Martha MacCallum” on Thursday.