MEXICO CITY | A caravan of about 1,600 Central American migrants camped Tuesday in the Mexican border city of Piedras Negras, just west of Eagle Pass, Texas.
The governor of the northern state of Coahuila described the migrants as “asylum seekers,” suggesting all had express intentions of surrendering to U.S. authorities.
While previous caravans had travelled to the border city of Tijuana, where migrants have to join a waiting list to make asylum claims, the relatively open border around Eagle Pass is different. The border is marked mainly by the Rio Grande and lacks the long sections of high barriers found in Tijuana.
Still, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security vowed that the “lawless caravan” would not be allowed in.
“Approximately 2,000 aliens have arrived in northern Mexico as part of a ‘caravan’ seeking to cross the border into Texas. Illegal entry will not be tolerated and we stand ready to prevent it,” DHS Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen wrote in a statement Tuesday, adding: “DHS will take all steps to ensure the safety and security of law enforcement personnel on the front lines.”
Images from local media showed U.S. agents with riot gear and shields standing on a bridge separating Eagle Pass and Piedras Negras. DHS said Border Patrol officers already had apprehended some migrants who crossed the border illegally overnight.