A caravan of migrants fleeing Honduras has grown to 4,000 and the Mexican government has sent an additional 500 federal police to its border with Guatemala in anticipation of their arrival, according to U.S. government documents obtained by NBC News.
Part of the caravan, which has split into two groups, is now approaching the Mexico-Guatemala border amidst a surge in border crossings on the U.S.-Mexico border.
In September, U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended more than 41,400 undocumented immigrants, up from 37,544 in August, according to numbers not yet released publicly but obtained by NBC News. The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the numbers of families and children traveling on their own surged to record levels in September.
Many of the Hondurans traveling in the caravan are children, some traveling with their parents and some without their parents, according to the documents. Because children are afforded special protections in the U.S., their arrival is creating anxiety within the Trump administration that has pledged to decrease illegal immigration. President Donald Trump said last week that he would consider separating migrant families at the border once again, after reversing his controversial “zero tolerance” policy in June.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is tracking the caravan as the Hondurans make their way north towards the U.S. border. Meanwhile, the State Department is attempting to stave off that possibility by compelling the Mexican government to stop them at their border with Guatemala.