Mexico sets up new process for Central American migrants headed toward U.S.

Mexico's new process for migrants going to U.S.

Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico – A new caravan of some 1,800 Central Americans is making its way toward the U.S. They started crossing into Mexico from Guatemala late last week and continued arriving through the weekend.

On a bridge near the border where you enter Mexico from Guatemala, the lines of migrants extend as far as you can see. They're waiting to be officially registered by the Mexican government, reports CBS News correspondent Adriana Diaz.

In a new process that started a week ago in preparation for the caravan, the Mexican government gives people wrist bands to register them, their identities are verified, and five days later they get humanitarian visas allowing them stay in Mexico for a year to work and to live. 

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The Mexican government gives migrants wrist bands to register them in a new process. CBS News

It's a stark contrast to last October when an earlier caravan that had more than 7,000 migrants at its height. The same bridge was packed and migrants jumped from the bridge to swim to Mexico. In that caravan, some 2,600 who reached the U.S. border and tried crossing illegally were arrested by U.S. border patrol. About 1,300 opted to return to their home countries. Roughly 2,900 received Mexican visas. Fewer than 700 are still in Tijuana along the U.S. border trying to get U.S. asylum.

Some people here have told us despite getting visas to stay in Mexico, they still plan to go to the U.S. border more than 2,000 miles away. One father saw that Diaz was American and asked her if the U.S. is letting migrants in if they are traveling with children.