An estimated 5,000-7,000 Central American migrants have crossed the Guatemalan-Mexican border and are marching toward the United States. Included en masse are many infant children, according to wire images from photojournalists embedded in the caravan.
The dangerous 3,000-mile voyage involves extreme heat, scant resources and human smugglers who often take advantage of the travelers. A man reportedly died in the migrant march after he fell from a truck. (RELATED: Train Of Central American Migrants Swells In Number Despite Warnings From Trump)
CNN told the harrowing story of a mother being separated from her five-year-old daughter in a stampede toward the Mexican border. She backtracked and found her again, before being lowered by rope and ladder to a raft from the bridge to cross illegally into Mexico. “This bridge, this river, they can’t stop me. I am an all-terrain woman,” the mother said.
Another Honduran mother traveling with her four children told CNN, “We are traveling to the United States. We will meet Donald Trump. He has to receive us. Just as we receive Americans here.”
The images coming from photographers on the ground is heartbreaking. The photos show mothers holding naked infants about to embark on a perilous crossing of the Suchiate River, natural border between Guatemala and Mexico.
They show children lying on the side of the road with heatstroke, parents pouring water on their screaming children, mothers pushing strollers packed with children.
They show paramedics attending to bruised and battered children and exhausted children sleeping on the asphalt among refuse.
Fox News spoke with an immigration lawyers who recounted how dangerous the trip is for children in a story about the “thousands of men, woman and children” traveling from Honduras.
“It’s unspeakable,” immigration lawyer Matthew Kolken told Fox News. “In this day and age, we don’t allow our children to walk to school alone… The actors that are smuggling individuals are unscrupulous. They take advantage of them. Women are subjected to sexual assault and rape. Children too.”
David Leopold, chairman of the Immigration Law Group, says despite reports of migrants marching and singing the Honduran national anthem as they make their way to Mexico, the trek out of Central America isn’t a “fun ride” but one filled with unimaginable abuse directed at women and children.
“The trip is awful,” Leopold told Fox. “(Migrants) are susceptible to crime. Women get raped, children are in danger. It’s not simply sitting on a bus and it’s not a fun ride.”
Trump threatened to cut off funding for Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador for letting the caravan pass through their countries.
“Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the U.S. We will now begin cutting off, or substantially reducing, the massive foreign aid routinely given to them.”
Over $500 million in U.S. funding goes to the three countries each year.