Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Mexico deploys hundreds of riot police as migrants near

Trump threatens to send troops to border to stop migrant caravan Trump threatens to close Mexico border if migrants not stopped
Kenny Thornton | 19 October, 2018, 18:42

President Donald Trump on Thursday dusted off the cobwebs of an old proposal from April to deploy military troops along the southern US border in an effort to stem illegal crossings by immigrants.

Mexican officials are desperately seeking a way to block the migrants after President Trump earlier Thursday threatened to cancel the U.S.

It's unclear how he intends to close the entire US-Mexico border and he already earlier this year called up some military units to do border security.

Trump has portrayed the caravan of migrants, which includes many families traveling with children and fleeing poverty or gang violence, as a threat to the United States.

Several thousand Honduran migrants moved this week through Guatemala, and some were trying to cross to Mexico on Thursday, according to local media.

Officials in Mexico have said the 4,000 or so Hondurans will not be allowed to enter the country as a group and must have a passport or visa - or apply for refugee status.

A caravan of migrants fleeing Honduras has grown to 4,000 and the Mexican government has sent an additional 500 federal police to its border with Guatemala in anticipation of their arrival, according to USA government documents obtained by NBC News.

It would take several weeks for the group to travel to the United States border.

A member of Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a group that helps organize caravans, told migrants in Tecun Uman on Thursday night the group would try to cross en masse on Saturday morning, the Associated Press reported.

Trump has threatened to cut aid to Honduras and Guatemala if their governments do not stop the caravan. The UN's assistance is necessary "to avoid people being deceived by global criminal organizations dedicated to human trafficking", the statement said.

Trump tells Central American countries to turn back migrants
Mexico has also said it would block members of the caravan from entering its territory if they did not have permits. Since 2014, the United States has committed $2.6 billion in aid for Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

But the mass exodus also drew the ire of Trump, who warned that governments in the region that allow this kind of migration face a possible end to US aid, putting considerable pressure on even USA allies.

But it added that all cases must be processed individually, suggesting Mexican authorities have no intention of letting the migrants simply cross the border en masse without going through standard immigration procedures.

In his string of tweets, Mr Trump also said the migrant issue was more important to him than the new trade deal with Mexico to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement pact.

Immigrant-rights activists have said the people must be treated as refugees deserving of protections, entitled to enter the US and make claims of asylum.

In part, the response is meant to both dissuade the migrants from even attempting to enter Mexico and potentially to show the Trump administration that Mexico is willing to, as the government put it, "maintain order".

The leader of a group who led a caravan of hundreds of migrants towards the USA border last spring has been arrested by Mexican authorities.

The President is blaming the Democrats, this time around, for encouraging the caravans. Trump said in one tweet.

Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray plans to make the formal request during a meeting Thursday with U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres in NY.

Illegal immigration is likely to be a top issue in November 6 USA congressional elections and Trump said migrants in the caravan were being used by his political opponents.

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