MAPASTEPEC, Mexico — Little by little, sickness, fear and police harassment are whittling down the migrant caravan making its way to the U.S. border, with many of the 4,000 to 5,000 migrants who resumed their journey Thursday complaining of exhaustion.

The group, many with children and even pushing toddlers in strollers, departed Mapastepec at dawn with more than 1,000 miles still to go before they reach the U.S. border.

They have advanced just 95 miles as the crow flies since thousands burst across Mexico’s southernmost border six days earlier.

With the migrants still weeks, if not months, from reaching the U.S. border, the U.S. administration was planning to send 800 or more troops to the southern border at the direction of President Trump, who has been stoking fears about illegal immigration ahead of the Nov. 6 midterm elections.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was expected to sign an order as early as Thursday authorizing the additional troops to support the Border Patrol, according to a U.S. official.

On Thursday, the long column of migrants stretched for more than a mile as they left the town square in Mapastepac in far southern Mexico, where many spent the night. The municipality of some 45,000 people offered medicine, water, clothing and baby bottles.

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