New caravan of migrants headed for US

New caravan of migrants headed for US

A fresh group of Central American migrants fled the violent Honduran city of San Pedro Sula on Monday to begin their trek toward the U.S. border, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

The news outlet said roughly 600 migrants left before sunrise, and planned to follow the same route used last year by thousands of migrants who formed multiple caravans. About 300 people climbed aboard buses, while another 300 began walking.

It was unclear whether the caravan would head for Tijuana, Mexico, the AP reported, where thousands of migrants from previous caravans have remained in recent months.

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One woman told the AP she intended to ask U.S. authorities for asylum or refugee status, saying it's "not possible to live in Honduras anymore.”

The new caravan is likely to draw the attention of Trump administration officials, who seized on last year's caravans to gin up support for building a wall along the southern border and implementing stricter immigration laws.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFacebook releases audit on conservative bias claims Harry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Recessions happen when presidents overlook key problems MORE pointed to the caravan in a tweet early Tuesday calling on congressional Democrats to stop "playing political games" and end a partial government shutdown, now in its 25th day, which was sparked by his demands for wall funding.

Trump repeatedly painted a caravan last October as filled with criminals and an imminent threat to national security. He made the issue a focal point of his campaign rallies during the midterms, where the GOP ultimately lost dozens of seats in the House and picked up two Senate seats.

In response to that caravan, the president deployed troops to the southern border and issued a proclamation preventing certain immigrants from claiming asylum. That order has been blocked by the courts, a move the Trump administration is appealing.

--Updated at 7:43 a.m.