Second migrant caravan: New group rushes to join ranks, deportees vow return to America

As the massive migrant caravan pushes toward the southern U.S. border, a second group of about 1,000 people from Honduras is rushing to join the main group -- which reportedly has swelled its ranks with several people who've already been deported.

The caravan, which has around 5,000 to 7,000 members, was on the move again Monday morning, departing the southern Mexico city of Tapachula. The smaller group trailing it entered Guatemala from Honduras late Sunday, according to the Associated Press.

“They catch you, and you try to get back,” said Imner Anthony Fuentes, a 29-year-old who reportedly was deported for the sixth time from the U.S. five months ago. He has a son and a U.S. citizen girlfriend living in Birmingham, Ala., the Washington Post reported.

Footage captured by a Fox News crew traveling with the caravan showed trucks handing out food, water and toilet paper to the migrants.

"My dream is get to the border if we could. If we can't we are going to have to cross the river some way, some how," a Honduran migrant who identified himself as Edwin told Fox News. As he spoke, a truck with people hanging onto the doors and sides passed behind him.

Another of the lead caravan's members who had previously lived in the U.S., 36-year-old Job Reyes told the Washington Post he's going back because America is “a country where I can live my life, unlike Guatemala.”

Reyes said he grew up in Los Angeles and returned to Guatemala 14 years ago after his visa expired. But now, with the caravan hoping to get across the U.S. border – a move President Trump has threatened to block with the military – Reyes saw an opportunity.

“When I heard about the caravan, I knew it was my chance,” he told the newspaper, noting his cousin and uncle still live in California and that he called them to let him know he was coming.

Central American migrants making their way to the U.S. in a large caravan cling to the trucks of drivers who offered them free rides, as they arrive to Tapachula, Mexico.

Central American migrants making their way to the U.S. in a large caravan cling to the trucks of drivers who offered them free rides, as they arrive to Tapachula, Mexico. (AP)

Others who had previously been deported from the U.S. and are part of the caravan told the Washington Post that family and work are driving factors in them making the journey back to America.

“We are workers. What are we supposed to do in Honduras if there’s no work?” said Evin Mata, a 21-year-old construction worker who was deported three months ago from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Juan Jimenez, a 32-year-old Honduran who had been deported six months ago from Phoenix, said he was going to see his 6-year-old son who is still living in the U.S.

The migrant caravan, which started out more than a week ago with less than 200 participants, has drawn additional people along the way and swelled again Sunday after many migrants found ways to cross from Guatemala into southern Mexico after police blocked the official crossing point.

A group of migrants rests at the central park in Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico.

A group of migrants rests at the central park in Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico. (AP)

Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador suggested Sunday the U.S., Canada and Mexico could work out a joint plan for funding development in the poor areas of Central America and southern Mexico.

"In this way we confront the phenomenon of migration, because he who leaves his town does not leave for pleasure but out of necessity," said Lopez Obrador, who takes office Dec. 1.

In interviews along the journey, migrants have said they are fleeing widespread violence, poverty and corruption in Honduras.

Officials in Mexico trying to help some of the caravan have been met with skepticism amid fears from its members that they could be deported.

Civil defense officials for Mexico's southern state of Chiapas said they had offered to take the migrants by bus to a shelter set up by immigration officials about 5 miles outside Tapachula, but the migrants refused, fearing that once they boarded the buses they would be sent back to Honduras, according to the Associated Press.

Ulises Garcia, a Red Cross official, said some migrants with injuries from their trek refused to be taken to clinics or hospitals because they didn't want to leave the caravan.

Fox News' William La Jeunesse and the Associated Press contributed to this report.