Migrants Depart From El Salvador as New US-Bound Caravan Forms

By Reuters
January 16, 2019Latest Clips

At least 150 Salvadoran migrants departed in a group for the United States on Jan. 16, the latest in a string of so-called ‘caravans’ that U.S. President Donald Trump has used to build his case for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The group, organized through social media, is following in the wake of a larger caravan that departed from Honduras this week.

Walking through the streets carrying backpacks and water bottles, the migrants were escorted by immigration authorities and the police.

El Salvador is grappling with a wave of crime and violence. In 2018, the country’s murder rate stood at 50.3 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, one of the highest levels in the world, according to the United Nations.

The Salvadoran government estimates that some 2,700 people have left the country through half a dozen caravans over the past year. About 600 have returned voluntarily, and three have died, according to government figures.

Caravans from Central America have inflamed the debate over U.S. immigration policy, with Trump pointing at the illegal migrants to win backing for his border security plan.

The U.S. government has been partially shut down for over three weeks as Democrats resist Trump’s demand that Congress provide $5.7 billion dollars to fund a border wall.

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