About 500 Haitians headed toward the U.S. border have been ordered off buses by Mexican immigration authorities

Immigration agents and National Guard officers stopped the buses at a highway checkpoint near the town of San Fernando, about 120 miles (200 kilometers) south of the Texas border, the state government said in a press release.

The migrants stopped in Tamaulipas told local media they had boarded about 15 buses in the city of Poza Rica, Veracruz, and were headed to Reynosa, Tamaulipas, across the border from McAllen, Texas.

Many Haitians have applied for asylum or refugee status in Mexico, but they are not allowed to travel outside the state where they made those applications. About 19,000 Haitians, many who have previously traveled through South America, have applied for asylum or refugee status in Mexico so far this year.

The migrants included some families with children. State police cars accompanied the migrants part of their walk to avoid accidents on the highway.

On Wednesday, another group of Haitians blocked a roadway in Tamaulipas in protest after they said federal authorities were trying to detain and deport them.

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