According to new reports, illegal migrants are now using a train called “The Beast” to enter the United States from Mexico, a move which is said to have already brought hundreds into the country.
While Mexican authorities have attempted to crack down on the continued onslaught of Central American migrants seeking passage to illegally enter the US, little has been accomplished, as the migration crisis at the US-Mexico border worsens by the month.
According to Mexican migration officials, as many as 400 migrants may have illegally entered the United States using the train, with one migrant claiming, “They won’t let us walk, so we climbed on the train,” adding, “It’s our only option.”
The decision to board the train en masse comes after a breakout of migrants from a troubled immigration detention center in the southern border city of Tapachula on Thursday night.
Mexico’s National Immigration Institute said the mass escape, which appears to be the largest in recent memory, involved around 1,300 Cuban migrants.
Around 700 of them have since returned voluntarily, but hundreds remain on the run.
Migration authorities said nearly 400 migrants boarded the train, Reutersreported, with images showing men, women and children of various nationalities, most of them on the roofs of carriages.
“We hope our God above will keep helping us. We had to keep moving forward,” Michael Hernandez, a Honduran, told Reuters after disembarking from the train together with a large group of others migrants after reaching the town of Ixtepec.
“They won’t let us walk, so we climbed on the train. It’s our only option.”
Migrants have used the train in the past, but it was ignored in recent years because of the dangers of the journey, including death or lost limbs.
“They’re riding the train again. That’s a fact,” said the Rev. Alejandro Solalinde, a migrant rights activist, who works to provide temporary shelter for migrants.
“It’s going to go back to the way it was. The [Mexican] government doesn’t want them to be seen. If the migrants move quietly like a stream of little ants, they’ll allow them to, but they are not going to allow them to move through Mexico publicly or massively,”