VIOLENCE has erupted as a Honduran migrant caravan heading for the US clashed with security forces when it entered Guatemala.
It is estimated up to 8,000 US-bound migrants have crossed the border since Friday as advocates have called on Joe Biden to honor his "commitments" to asylum seekers.
Guatemalan authorities have detained hundreds of migrants from the caravan as they march northwards while escaping Honduras.
Thousands of others however managed to breach border security and will be expected to continue heading for the US.
Pictures show brutal battles erupting as the caravan surged through Guatemala in pursuit of the American Dream.
The desperate march comes as they flee poverty, violence and political corruption for hopes of a better life in the United States.
Two devastating hurricanes also struck the region last year along only worsening the impacts felt by the coronavirus pandemic.
Guatemala's Ministry of Foreign Affairs have urged Honduran authorities to do more to "contain the massive departure of its inhabitants".
The caravan at large is expected to contain somewhere between 2,000 and 4,000 people.
Biden is expected to carry out sweeping immigration reforms when he takes office – and the caravan will be the first challenge ofits kind for the administration.
Donald Trump's policies however are expected to remain at first as Biden's advisors say changes will "take time".
"Biden is a good person and isn't the same as the administration that's about to end. Trump has been selfish," one man in the caravan said, reports AFP.
Immigrations rights advocates are calling on the Biden administration to honor its "commitments" to asylum seekers as the caravan approaches.
In a statement, rights group Pueblo Sin Fronteras said: "We recognize the importance of the incoming Government of the United States having shown a strong commitment to migrants and asylum seekers, which presents an opportunity for the governments of Mexico and Central America to develop policies and a migration management that respect and promote the human rights of the population in mobility."
The group called on Biden to work with the Mexican government and Central American countries to address the roots of illegal immigration.
Honduran authorities have said they trying to reinforce the country's borders with Guatemala to try and stem the tide of immigration.
Videos however show large groups of people pushing past cordons to flood onto highways travelling to Mexico.
It is estimated nearly 3,500 people managed to breach cordons.
Mexico and other nations are attempting to introduce security protocols to halt the caravan's progress.
It is also feared the mass migration of people could become a breeding ground for Covid-19 as the pandemic continues to rage.
Honduras has seen its economy shattered by the virus, seeing a contraction of 7.1 per cent which led to widespread joblessness and homelessness.
Caravans had been a key part of Trump's rhetoric as he pledged to take a tough line on illegal immigration into the US.
He described them as an "invasion" of America and implemented a policy of "zero tolerance".
Trump had attempted to construct a wall across the southern border with Mexico, but despite being a key campaign promise only 47 miles of new barriers have been built.
Last month, a Honduran caravan forming reportedly failed to even make it to the border with Guatemala.
Others have collapsed before managing to cross into Mexico.
Biden has promised to create "a clear roadmap to citizenship" on his first day in office for 11 million living in the United States
However, his domestic policy adviser Susan Rice said last month the administration's policies of dismantling immigration measures put in place by Trump are unlikely to implemented soon.
Rice said: "We will be able to take some steps to change policies right away.
"Others will take time to put in place, and the situation at the border will not transform overnight, due in large part to the damage done over the last four years.
"But we are committed to addressing it in full."
She added: "Our priority is to reopen asylum processing at the border consistent with the capacity to do so safely and to protect public health, especially in the context of Covid-19."
“This effort will begin immediately but it will take months to develop the capacity that we will need to reopen fully.”
Caravan member Maria Jesus Paz, a mum of four children, who said she lost her home in the hurricanes, said: "We have nothing to feed to our children, and thousands of us were left sleeping on the streets.
"This is why we make this decision, even though we know that the journey could cost us our lives."
Melvin Paredes, who joined the caravan with his brother, added: "First I lost my job because of the pandemic, and then I lost my home in the hurricanes.
"The only thing I have left is to fight for my family’s survival."
Mexico is drilling thousands of National Guard troops in a bid to deter the caravan from crossing into Mexico.
Border crossings into the US during 2020 fell due the pandemic and coronavirus lockdown, hitting lows of 17,100 in April.
US Custom and Border Protection has however revealed the numbers have since more than tripled.
Roughly 70,000 apprehensions were made in the months of October, November and December.
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