Thousands of migrants in southern Mexico started marching on Monday as part of the Holy Week demonstration to draw attention to their struggle against robberies, sexual assaults, extortion and kidnapping.

The walking event began with around 2,000 migrants leaving Tapachula near the Guatemalan border at dawn and announced that they aim to reach Mexico's capital.

In recent years, Mexico has implemented a strategy to confine migrants to the southern region, which is far from the United States border, as per AP News. Migrants often spend months there, trying to legalize their status through asylum or other methods.

According to migrants, there are barely any jobs available for them and most of them are burdened with significant debts to smugglers.

A Guatemalan man named Daniel Godoy joined the walk with his family including his wife and two children after waiting for four months in Tapachula to regularize their status.

"There's still no date for the card, for the permit," Godoy said. "We decided it's better to come on our own." As he was walking on the rural highway, the Guatemalan man was carrying his two-year-old daughter on his shoulders while his wife was carrying the six-month-old baby.

A member of the Catholic Church's human mobility effort, Rev. Heyman Vázquez Medina, said Mexico's immigration policy doesn't have clarity, claiming the government delayed granting legal status for migrants to restrict their access to public transportation and cross borders.

However, he pointed out the government allowed migrants to take exhausting walks on the highways. "They have to walk under the sun and the rain, kilometers and kilometers, suffering from hunger? Who can take that?" Medina added.

According to data released last week, the U.S. Border Patrol encountered 140,644 migrants in the last month. It was more than what the department encountered in January -- 124,220 migrants. However, January numbers were lesser than December, recording nearly 250,000 encounters.

As the number of migrants increases, cases of kidnapping and extortion also go up. This is because desperate individuals resort to paying local gangs to ensure their safety.

The surge in migrants increased after the Biden administration's move last year to launch an online appointment system that would allow migrants to claim asylum. Since then, thousands of people have reached Mexico with the appointment.

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