More than a hundred Mexican federal officers carrying plastic shields abandoned a blockade they had formed on a bridge Saturday, allowing a caravan of thousands of Central American migrants to advance toward the United States.

The officers ended the standoff after representatives from Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission told police that a rural stretch of highway without shade, toilets or water was no place for migrants to entertain offers of asylum in Mexico. Police boarded buses and headed further down the highway, while migrants cheered and vowed to trek all the way to the U.S. border.

A woman holds her baby as she waits in hopes of a ride among other Central Americans participating in the thousands-strong caravan of Central American slowly making its way toward the U.S. border, outside Pijijiapan, Mexico, before dawn on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. Many migrants said they felt safer traveling and sleeping with several thousand strangers in unknown towns than hiring a smuggler or trying to make the trip alone.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
A woman holds her baby as she waits in hopes of a ride among other Central Americans participating in the thousands-strong caravan of Central American slowly making its way toward the U.S. border, outside Pijijiapan, Mexico, before dawn on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. Many migrants said they felt safer traveling and sleeping with several thousand strangers in unknown towns than hiring a smuggler or trying to make the trip alone.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto launched a program on Friday dubbed “You are home,” which promises shelter, medical attention, schooling and jobs to Central Americans who agree to stay in the southern Mexico states of Chiapas or Oaxaca.

Police commissioner Benjamin Grajeda said that authorities only blocked the highway Saturday to tell people about the government’s offer. “Here in this truck right now you can get help,” he said.

Scores of Central American migrants waiting for rides rest along the highway as they travel with a thousands-strong caravan slowly making its way toward the U.S. border, in Pijijiapan, Mexico, before dawn on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. Many migrants said they felt safer traveling and sleeping with several thousand strangers in unknown towns than hiring a smuggler or trying to make the trip alone.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Scores of Central American migrants waiting for rides rest along the highway as they travel with a thousands-strong caravan slowly making its way toward the U.S. border, in Pijijiapan, Mexico, before dawn on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. Many migrants said they felt safer traveling and sleeping with several thousand strangers in unknown towns than hiring a smuggler or trying to make the trip alone.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Thousands of migrants in the city of Arriaga rejected the plan Friday night, but said they could be willing to discuss it again once they reach Mexico City. Some fear they will be deported if they take advantage of the program.

Migrants rest on the railroad rails, as a thousands-strong caravan of Central American migrants slowly makes its way toward the U.S. border, between Pijijiapan and Arriaga, Mexico, Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. On Friday, the caravan made its most ambitious single-day trek since the migrants crossed into the southern Mexican state of Chiapas a week ago, a 60-mile (100-kilometer) hike up the coast from Pijijiapan to the town of Arriaga.(AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Migrants rest on the railroad rails, as a thousands-strong caravan of Central American migrants slowly makes its way toward the U.S. border, between Pijijiapan and Arriaga, Mexico, Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. On Friday, the caravan made its most ambitious single-day trek since the migrants crossed into the southern Mexican state of Chiapas a week ago, a 60-mile (100-kilometer) hike up the coast from Pijijiapan to the town of Arriaga.(AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

The caravan is now trying to strike out for Tapanatepec, about 29 miles (46 kilometers) away after an arduous 60-mile (100 kilometer) journey to the city of Arriaga.

Orbelina Orellana, a migrant from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, said she and her husband left three children behind and had decided to continue north one way or another.

Central American migrants waiting for rides along the highway are lit by the lights of police cars providing security for them, as part of a thousands-strong caravan slowly making its way toward the U.S. border, in Pijijiapan, before dawn on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. Many migrants said they felt safer traveling and sleeping with several thousand strangers in unknown towns than hiring a smuggler or trying to make the trip alone.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Central American migrants waiting for rides along the highway are lit by the lights of police cars providing security for them, as part of a thousands-strong caravan slowly making its way toward the U.S. border, in Pijijiapan, before dawn on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. Many migrants said they felt safer traveling and sleeping with several thousand strangers in unknown towns than hiring a smuggler or trying to make the trip alone.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

“Our destiny is to get to the border,” Orellana said.

A man makes announcements about lost valuables and people separated from their loved ones over a megaphone as thousands-strong caravan of Central American migrants heading for the U.S. sets up camp for the night in Pijijiapan, Mexico, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018. Many migrants said they felt safer traveling and sleeping with several thousand strangers in unknown towns than hiring a smuggler or trying to make the trip alone.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
A man makes announcements about lost valuables and people separated from their loved ones over a megaphone as thousands-strong caravan of Central American migrants heading for the U.S. sets up camp for the night in Pijijiapan, Mexico, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018. Many migrants said they felt safer traveling and sleeping with several thousand strangers in unknown towns than hiring a smuggler or trying to make the trip alone.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

She was suspicious of the government’s proposal and said that some Hondurans who had applied for legal status had already been sent back. Her claims could not be verified, but migrants’ representatives in the talks asked the Mexican government to provide a list of those who had been forced to return.

Mexico’s Interior Ministry said that temporary identity numbers have already been issued to 111 migrants under the “You are home” program. The IDs, called CURPs, authorize the migrants to stay and work in Mexico. The ministry said pregnant women, children and the elderly were among the migrants who had joined the program and are now being attended to at shelters.

Scores of Central American migrants waiting for rides rest along the highway as they travel with a thousands-strong caravan slowly making its way toward the U.S. border, in Pijijiapan, Mexico, before dawn on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. Many migrants said they felt safer traveling and sleeping with several thousand strangers in unknown towns than hiring a smuggler or trying to make the trip alone.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Scores of Central American migrants waiting for rides rest along the highway as they travel with a thousands-strong caravan slowly making its way toward the U.S. border, in Pijijiapan, Mexico, before dawn on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. Many migrants said they felt safer traveling and sleeping with several thousand strangers in unknown towns than hiring a smuggler or trying to make the trip alone.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

The government appears to want to shrink the caravan by keeping smaller groups of migrants from joining, while simultaneously hoping that the grueling journey will make its offer of refuge more attractive.

Police have been ejecting migrant passengers off buses in recent days and cracking down on smaller groups trying to catch up with the main caravan. An official with the national immigration authority said Friday that 300 Hondurans and Guatemalans who crossed the Mexico border illegally had been detained.

Men wait in line to receive food from the local community, as a thousands-strong caravan of Central American migrants heading for the U.S. sets up camp for the night in Pijijiapan, Mexico, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018. Many migrants said they felt safer traveling and sleeping with several thousand strangers in unknown towns than hiring a smuggler or trying to make the trip alone.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Men wait in line to receive food from the local community, as a thousands-strong caravan of Central American migrants heading for the U.S. sets up camp for the night in Pijijiapan, Mexico, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018. Many migrants said they felt safer traveling and sleeping with several thousand strangers in unknown towns than hiring a smuggler or trying to make the trip alone.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Migrants, who enter Mexico illegally every day, usually ride in smugglers’ trucks or buses, or walk at night to avoid detection. The fact that the group of about 300 stragglers Friday was walking in broad daylight suggests they were adopting the tactics of the main caravan, which is large enough to be out in the open without fear of mass detention.

Men pass up water to Central Americans riding on the back of a truck while other migrants wait for rides, as a thousands-strong caravan of Central American makes its way toward the U.S. border, north of Pijijiapan, Mexico, at dawn on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. Many migrants said they felt safer traveling and sleeping with several thousand strangers in unknown towns than hiring a smuggler or trying to make the trip alone.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Men pass up water to Central Americans riding on the back of a truck while other migrants wait for rides, as a thousands-strong caravan of Central American makes its way toward the U.S. border, north of Pijijiapan, Mexico, at dawn on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. Many migrants said they felt safer traveling and sleeping with several thousand strangers in unknown towns than hiring a smuggler or trying to make the trip alone.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

They still must travel 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) to reach the nearest U.S. border crossing at McAllen, Texas. The trip could be twice as long if the group of some 4,000 migrants heads for the Tijuana-San Diego frontier, as another caravan did earlier this year. Only about 200 in that group made it to the border.

While such migrant caravans have taken place regularly over the years, passing largely unnoticed, they have received widespread attention this year after fierce opposition from U.S. President Donald Trump.

Central American migrants look through a pile of donated clothes, as a thousands-strong caravan of migrants prepares to camp out for the night in Pijijiapan, Mexico, on their journey toward the U.S. border, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018. Many migrants said they felt safer traveling and sleeping with several thousand strangers in unknown towns than hiring a smuggler or trying to make the trip alone.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Central American migrants look through a pile of donated clothes, as a thousands-strong caravan of migrants prepares to camp out for the night in Pijijiapan, Mexico, on their journey toward the U.S. border, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018. Many migrants said they felt safer traveling and sleeping with several thousand strangers in unknown towns than hiring a smuggler or trying to make the trip alone.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

On Friday, the Pentagon approved a request for additional troops at the southern border, likely to total several hundred, to help the U.S. Border Patrol as Trump seeks to transform concerns about immigration and the caravan into electoral gains in the Nov. 6 midterms.

Migrants arrive to Arriga , as a thousands-strong caravan of Central American migrants slowly makes its way toward the U.S. border, between Pijijiapan and Arriaga, Mexico, Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. Many migrants said they felt safer traveling and sleeping with several thousand strangers in unknown towns than hiring a smuggler or trying to make the trip alone. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Migrants arrive to Arriga , as a thousands-strong caravan of Central American migrants slowly makes its way toward the U.S. border, between Pijijiapan and Arriaga, Mexico, Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. Many migrants said they felt safer traveling and sleeping with several thousand strangers in unknown towns than hiring a smuggler or trying to make the trip alone. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis signed off on the request for help from the Department of Homeland Security and authorized the military staff to work out details such as the size, composition and estimated cost of the deployments, according to a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss planning that has not yet been publicly announced.

Stoking fears about the caravan and illegal immigration to rally his Republican base, the president insinuated that gang members and “Middle Easterners” are mixed in with the group, though he later acknowledged there was no proof of that.

Migrants rest on the railroad rails as a thousands-strong caravan of Central American migrants slowly makes its way toward the U.S. border, between Pijijiapan and Arriaga, Mexico, Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. On Friday, the caravan made its most ambitious single-day trek since the migrants crossed into the southern Mexican state of Chiapas a week ago, a 60-mile (100-kilometer) hike up the coast from Pijijiapan to the town of Arriaga.(AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Migrants rest on the railroad rails as a thousands-strong caravan of Central American migrants slowly makes its way toward the U.S. border, between Pijijiapan and Arriaga, Mexico, Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. On Friday, the caravan made its most ambitious single-day trek since the migrants crossed into the southern Mexican state of Chiapas a week ago, a 60-mile (100-kilometer) hike up the coast from Pijijiapan to the town of Arriaga.(AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

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Source: The Associated Press