EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Hundreds of migrants in the southern Mexican city of Tapachula held street vigils this weekend, praying for a safe trek as part of a caravan scheduled to depart north in five days.

Guatemalans, Haitians and citizens of other countries experiencing economic, climate and political upheaval lighted candles and knelt to pray so the president of Mexico and the head of that country’s immigration service let them walk past checkpoints on the way to Mexico City and, eventually, the U.S. border, local media reported.

Mexican and U.S. activists are organizing the caravan as a means of ensuring safety in numbers and keep criminals from preying on the migrants. But tension is growing as the Mexican government warns the migrants – even those who’re trying to secure court writs against detention – to stay in place.

The writs, known in Mexico as amparos, “don’t authorize free transit through Mexico, as civil organizations are saying, and (traveling) contravenes the court order,” Mexico’s National Migration Institute (INM) said in a news release Friday.

The INM said nearly 2,000 migrants have sought the writs in the past few days, essentially asking not to be deported from Mexico while they pursue asylum or temporary stays on humanitarian grounds.

Activists from Pueblo Sin Fronteras, Pueblo Unido Migrante and the Center for Human Dignity are helping the migrants file for the writs.

PSF and PUM activist Irineo Mujica insists the migrants will leave on Saturday and accused the INM of trying to intimidate caravan participants.

“As always, INM is lying. Not only can they not deport them, but they cannot detain them […] and they cannot fool them because the migrants aren’t dumb,” Mujica said on social media. “They (INM) have brute force, but they don’t have the moral authority to stop us. So, with amparos or without them, we are leaving.”

Mujica previously warned that the migrants were prepared to “go to war” with Mexico’s National Guard if it tried to stop them.

News of the new migrant caravan preparing to travel north has lit up social media in the past two weeks. The hashtag #IrineoMujica has drawn heated comments from Americans.

“You’ve got to get it thru your heads! You’re not wanted here and even if we could help you, which we can’t because our President Joe Biden can’t even take care of Americans!” one Twitter user said.

“Irineo Mujica. Turn around. You are not welcome here. You threaten us with war. Be careful what you wish for,” said another user.

“Irineo Mujica is a domestic terrorist bringing waves of illegal migrants to the southern border,” tweeted @SavageAmerican.