The Public Defender's Office in Colombia says those 19 thousand are waiting here in the town of Necocli, Colombia, a place we first told you about six weeks ago. Their trip will take them on a ferry ride to the other side of Colombia where they will then walk into one of the worst jungles in the world, the Darien Gap, for what is a 7-day trek into Panama.
Each day, 250 migrants are allowed to travel across by ferry. Once they come out of the jungle on the Panamanian side they pay indigenous people to get a "piragua" or a canoe ride to turn themselves into Panamanian Border Patrol.
I have been reporting on migration routes for years and have taken you there to see the process firsthand.
U.S. federal agents and civil service employees help to do biometrics on the migrants. They also run them through National Crime Information Center, Interpol, and a terror watch list to see if they are wanted for crimes anywhere, so they can continue their trip north.
"So the volume of the people was rather sudden rather dramatic, very quick and we search resources according to the pace," says Alejandro Mayorkas, DHS Secretary
But we question how sudden. We first reported about the caravan that arrived in Del Rio last week back on August 5th. We told you they were coming then. We also know that Panama Immigration Officials and U.S. personnel at these camps send migrant numbers to the Embassy and the Department of Homeland Security daily. Like the numbers we received yesterday from the Panamanian Public Defender's Office, there were 1,752 migrants in 4 of the camps in Panama. Of those 1,133 are from Haiti, 115 are from Cuba, and 369 are children.
Those migrants don't stay there long. Panamanian Immigration sources tell us that on Monday night, a total of 15 buses drove migrants to the border with Costa Rica and that type of transport happens daily.
A transnational phenomenon that will need the cooperation of all countries along the path taken by the migrants.