Central American refugees and asylum-seekers, led by the nonprofit humanitarian organization Pueblo Sin Fronteras, walk along a road in the town of Santiago Niltepec, Oaxaca state, Mexico, on March 31.

Photographer: Jordi Ruiz Cirera/Bloomberg

Central American refugees and asylum-seekers, led by the nonprofit humanitarian organization Pueblo Sin Fronteras, walk along a road in the town of Santiago Niltepec, Oaxaca state, Mexico, on March 31.

Photographer: Jordi Ruiz Cirera/Bloomberg

On the Road With the Caravan of Refugees Targeted by Trump

Trump has turned their plight into a rallying cry against illegal immigration.

Meet the migrants who have traveled thousands of miles from Central America on foot, bus and freight train. They’re hoping that safety in numbers will lead them without incident through Mexico as they seek asylum in the U.S. from gang violence and poverty. But the mass exodus is exactly what drew the wrong kind of attention to the group. Now U.S. President Donald Trump has turned their plight into a rallying cry against illegal immigration and demanded that Mexico stop them. Mexico responded that the caravan is an annual public demonstration to raise awareness of the importance of respecting immigrant rights, but that it will handle them as laws dictate. Locals aren’t much worried about those laws and have offered shelter in gyms and free buses to help the Central Americans on their way. Photographer Jordi Ruiz Cirera traveled with those seeking refuge.

Refugees ride “the Beast” freight train in Matías Romero. 

Photographer: Jordi Ruiz Cirera/Bloomberg

The Beast is a network of Mexican freight trains used by U.S.-bound migrants to quickly travel the length of Mexico.

Photographer: Jordi Ruiz Cirera/Bloomberg

Refugees with Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a nonprofit that gives humanitarian aid to migrants seeking asylum, ride on a bus provided by the town of Ixtepec. 

Photographer: Jordi Ruiz Cirera/Bloomberg

Ixtepec also offered shelter in a gym for migrants passing through town.

Photographer: Jordi Ruiz Cirera/Bloomberg

Many locals, like this truck driver, offer refugees rides in their vehicles.

Photographer: Jordi Ruiz Cirera/Bloomberg

Refugees board a bus in Ixtepec to continue their journey. 

Photographer: Jordi Ruiz Cirera/Bloomberg

Asylum-seekers travel at night in Santiago Niltepec. 

Photographer: Jordi Ruiz Cirera/Bloomberg

Refugees rest on the side of the road.  

Photographer: Jordi Ruiz Cirera/Bloomberg

Locals wave to refugees riding the Beast.

Photographer: Jordi Ruiz Cirera/Bloomberg

Central American asylum-seekers walk along a road in Santiago Niltepec. 

Photographer: Jordi Ruiz Cirera/Bloomberg