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Explained: What is the migrant caravan and why are they marching to the US border

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The march was timed to coincide with the three day summit of the Americas which began on June 8.

Washington, Jun 11: On Monday several thousand migrants of various nationalities began a 2,000 kilometre march by foot through Southern Mexico to reach the US border.

The activists told Reuters that this could be the region's largest migrant caravan in years. The migrant undertook this exercise to highlight the problems in their home country.

Explained: What is the migrant caravan and why are they marching to the US border

The march was timed to coincide with the three day summit of the Americas which began on June 8.

The summit is being held in Los Angeles and migration is one of the key issues that the meet is discussing.

At least 11,000 people had joined the caravan and more are joining with each passing day.. Large scale caravans have been taking place periodically since 2018. These persons are forced to leave their homes due to rising poverty, violence and political turmoil. Thousands from Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvadore enter Mexico with the hope of reaching the US. Over the years authorities have tried to curtail the movement of these caravans but have not succeeded.

The ongoing caravan consists of a large number of Venezuelans. One of the reason for this is a a new policy introduced by Mexico that requires them to have a visa to enter the country. Earlier they could more easily enter Mexico as tourists and subsequently make their way to the US border.

The Associated Press said that people have been complaining for months now that Mexico's migrant containment policy holds them far from the US and makes their lives extremely difficult.

In Mexico migrants who apply for humanitarian visas are supposed to remain in the southernmost state of Chiapas while the cases are processed. Migrants say that the authorities have been slow in granting them visas, leaving them stuck in Tapachula.

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