Thousands of immigrants and asylum-seekers travelling from Central American nations with the aim of entering the United States have resumed their journey from southern Mexico, BBC reported on Monday.

The large caravan started walking towards the US border from the border city of Ciudad Hidalgo early on Sunday. Though Mexican authorities tried to stop them at a border bridge between Mexico and Guatemala, some managed to cross into the country by boat. The group comprises mostly Hondurans, who say they are fleeing violence and poverty. The immigrants received help from sympathetic Mexicans, who offered food, water and clothing, AP reported. Hundreds of locals driving pickups, vans and cargo trucks let them clamber on board.

The Mexican authorities are processing the asylum requests of small groups and handed out 45-day visitor permits to others. A few immigrants took transport organised by the Guatemalan authorities at Tecun Uman to voluntarily return to Honduras.

US President Donald Trump has criticised the group’s advance. Trump, who had earlier praised Mexico for its tough response to the immigrants, lashed out at the Democratic Party on Sunday. “The Caravans are a disgrace to the Democrat Party,” he tweeted. “Change the immigration laws NOW!”

The president said the administration was making every effort to “stop the onslaught of illegal aliens”. “People have to apply for asylum in Mexico first, and if they fail to do that, the US will turn them away,” he added. “The courts are asking the US to do things that are not doable!”