Hundreds of Honduran migrants reportedly boarded buses in the city of San Pedro Sula before dawn Wednesday and a set out in a caravan hoping to travel the more than 2,450 miles to the United States.
Some of those gathered at the bus station said they are seeking better opportunities away from Honduras because they cannot support their families with what they can earn in their home country.
Nohemy Reyes, who waited at the bus station with one of her five children sleeping on the floor beside her, said her country's economic troubles are driving her north.
"The economic situation is very difficult," she said. But if she finds the U.S. border closed, she said, she will return to Honduras.
Officials in San Pedro Sula told reporters that nearly 1,000 people gathered at the bus terminal after news of a new migrant caravan spread. Some there were unable to board buses and began walking through the rain – some pushing strollers or carrying sleeping children in their arms.
This caravan follows the several thousands of migrants who made the trek north and now remain stranded on the Mexico-U.S. border.
President Trump has railed against increased migrants coming into the U.S. via Mexico and this week threatened to close the border before changing course and threatening tariffs on automobiles produced in Mexico if the country does not stop the flow of Central American migrants.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has said the influx of migrant families attempting to enter the country has overwhelmed their facilities. The agency announced this week that 53,000 parents and children were apprehended at the southern border in March alone.
Meanwhile, officials said that more 103,000 migrants were turned away from or apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border last month – an increase of nearly 106 percent over the same period last year.
The numbers were made public hours after a top Border Patrol official told lawmakers that authorities have apprehended more families illegally crossing the border between October 2018 and February of this year than during all of the 2018 fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2017-Sept. 30, 2018).
The caravan’s departure comes just days after the resignation of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen as part of a larger DHS shakeup orchestrated by Trump.
It is said the president is frustrated with his administration’s inability to stem the tide of migrants from Central America and other parts of the world.
Nielsen was replaced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan in an acting capacity.
Trump on Tuesday said he isn't planning on reinstating the controversial family separation policy that started during the Obama administration. Last summer, more than 2,500 children were separated from their families before a judge ordered them reunited, a continuation of the practices enacted under the previous president.
Obama-era Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan told senators last week that the U.S. is “experiencing a crisis at the southern border at a magnitude never seen in modern times.”
“This is not a manufactured crisis created by those of us who live and work in the border area," Morgan said. "Border Patrol continues to apprehend record numbers of people who purposely violate U.S. immigration laws, we are taken advantage of by gaps in our legal frameworks and that undermine the rule of laws.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.