Caravan of Chinese migrants grows by the thousands within 48 hours as they make their way to the U.S.-Mexico border

UNITED STATES - In less than 48 hours, a migrant caravan heading towards the U.S.-Mexico border grew exponentially, totally more than 7,000 people. 

According to the Daily Mail, between Monday, October 30th and Wednesday, November 1st, the caravan swelled by nearly 1,000 people as influencers on social media share ways in which Chinese citizens can make their way to the land of the free. 

One of the organizers of the group said that hundreds more continue to join the caravan of migrants in Mexico as they trek northbound, traveling through the southern state of Chiapas. 

While organizer Irineo Mujica said that close to 7,000 migrants are part of the caravan, a spokesperson for the Chiapas government said that authorities estimate the size to be around 3,500. 

Social media influencers have been using their platforms to post videos providing step-by-step instructions on how to take a relatively new and perilous route through Panama's Darien Gap jungle.

According to Panamanian immigration authorities, Chinese people are the fourth highest nationality crossing the Darien Gap jungle during the first three quarters of the year. They join several Venezuelans, Ecuadorians and Haitians. 

Reportedly, Chinese migrants are using this dangerous route by flying to Ecuador and then making their way north to the U.S.-Mexico border. They do not need a visa to be in Ecuador. From there, they join Latin Americans to travel through the Darien Gap. They cross several Central American countries before reaching the southern border of the U.S.

Data shows that the monthly number of Chinese migrants crossing the Darien Gap has been rising. In January that number was 913, whereas in September there were 2,588.

Between January and September, Border Patrol agents have arrested 22,187 Chinese migrants for illegally crossing the border, respectively. This is nearly 13 times the amount for the same timeframe in 2022.

The route that Chinese migrants are now taking has become well-known and even has its own name in Chines: "walk the line or zouxian." Certain social media apps and messaging apps have popularized the route.

Not only do influencers on these apps provide on-the-ground video clips and step-by-step guides, but they also give tips on what to pack, where to find guides, how to survive the dangerous jungle, which hotels to stay at, how much it costs to "bribe" police in different countries, and what to do when encountering U.S. immigration officers.

An article released in April by Reuters said that one Chinese migrant stated she came across "Baozai," an internet personality who gained tens of thousands of followers on Douyin, which is owned by TikTok owner ByteDance, Xigua Video, YouTube and Twitter, now called X by posting videos about his migration to the United States.

Reuters also found that other social media accounts were giving advice in Mandarin on how to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. On April 7th, a post on Twitter from an account called "Lee Gaga" said that smugglers "mark the location of U.S. Border Patrol agents" on maps and advise migrants on how to "surrender" to them.

After a 37-day journey, the user identified as Lee Gaga said he was now in the New York City area. Twitter is blocked in China, but users can sometimes access the platform through virtual private networks (VPNs).
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Tiktok is a weapon of war.Ecuador should have every penny of aid cut immediately.

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