By BETHANY BLANKLEY
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) – A caravan of thousands of people heading to the U.S. has reportedly left from Tapachula, Mexico, a city located less than 10 miles from the Mexico-Guatemala border.
The timing of their departure was planned to coincide with the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, which began Monday. President Joe Biden, who’s still not been to the U.S. southern border, spoke at the summit Wednesday.
Many of those in the caravan are from Central America, Venezuela and Cuba, according to several news reports.
“We consider we are around 9,500, it measures 5 1/2 km from the start to the end, people keep on joining, in the first police check there were approximately 100-150 national guard, INM, state police and let us through freely,” Luis Villagran, the caravan’s organizer, told Fox News.
President Joe Biden “promised the Haitian community he will help them,” several Haitians told Fox News last week. “He will recall Title 42. He will help us have real asylum,” they said.
Reuters reported that at least 6,000 people had already left from Tapachula.
Mr. Villagran also said that Mexico began issuing 1,000 temporary work visas a day to people who were in Mexico illegally starting Wednesday, enabling them to travel throughout Mexico, and to the U.S. border.
Visas enable non-Mexican citizens to travel freely throughout Mexico and to be transported by Mexican citizens. Without visas, those traveling in caravans can’t reach the U.S.
Upon hearing the news, U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-NM, wrote on Twitter, “Another thousands-strong caravan of illegal migrants, emboldened by Joe Biden’s complete destruction of our border security. Those who get through will be released into our communities with no background checks.”
Texas Republican congressional candidate Irene Aremendariz-Jackson told “Fox & Friends First” that American leaders need to “stand up for Americans” instead of illegal immigrants.
“This administration has empowered illegal aliens, has empowered everybody except Americans,” she said. “I want to remind the Biden administration that they were elected … to provide safety and tranquility for the American people. That is in our Constitution.”
Ms. Armendariz-Jackson, a veteran from El Paso who is married to a Border Patrol agent, and is running against incumbent Democrat Rep. Veronica Escoabar, argues the Biden administration has “completely failed” the American people.
U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., wrote on Twitter, “What could be the largest caravan ever is heading toward our southern border, claiming Joe Biden promised them asylum. This is a nightmare.”
Blackburn said the president “needs to get out in front of this and tell them to turn around immediately.”
Of the summit, U.S. Rep. María Elvira Salazar, R-Miami, tweeted, “This administration is not interested in Latin America.” The proof she said was “the disorganization and abysmal leadership at the summit.”
The summit was also “an example of Biden’s approach to Latin America: weak, disorganized and misguided.” The summit was “a mess” she said in response to an article published by the Spanish language newspaper from South Florida, Diario Las Américas.
The paper reported that the summit began “on quicksand due to boycott threats from countries like Mexico, in the midst of the migration crisis.”