Police Meet US-Bound Migrant Caravan at Mexico’s Southern Border
- Author: Leroy Wright Oct 19, 2018,
Oct 19, 2018, 22:09
President Trump has threatened to send troops to close the USA border with Mexico if the country fails to stop the "onslaught" of migrants from Central America, as White House tensions erupted in a heated exchange between two of his closest aides.
On Thursday, Mexico's ambassador to Guatemala, Luis Manuel Lopez Moreno, met with migrants camped out on the border to try to discourage them from crossing illegally. The UNHCR will provide help evaluating the asylum claims of the migrants before they cross into the U.S.
Like Guatemala and Honduras, Mexico is a country of many migrants, raising the question of whether the political will exists for a confrontation.
But, possibly with an eye on November 6 polls that will determine whether Republicans retain control of Congress, Trump returned to the fiery rhetoric that has marked his past relations with Mexico. "Hopefully Mexico will stop this onslaught at their Northern Border", Trump wrote, referring to the newest trade deal known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, meanwhile, is embarking on a tour of the region that will take him to Panama on Thursday and to Mexico Friday.
The group has swollen in size since leaving San Pedro Sula, one of the world's most unsafe cities, on Friday.
Trump is renewing his threat, though, as a caravan of migrants from Honduras makes its way north toward the US border.
Earlier this year, Trump's criticism turned a migrant caravan into a spectacle, with day-by-day media coverage of the journey.
A Border Patrol official who was not authorized to speak publicly tells CBS News that agents at the border "are swamped", with more and more large groups crossing together.
Those who want to apply for refuge in Mexico will be welcome to do so "if they have a vulnerable situation in their country of origin", Videgaray said in an interview with the Televisa network.
Some hung out their wet clothes to dry on railings and tree branches, while looked for a way to exchange their Guatemalan quetzales for Mexican pesos.
NBC reports that U.S. officials are now tracking that small group as they make progress towards the US.
In a series of tweets Thursday morning, Trump accused the governments of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador of allowing a large "caravan" of migrants to proceed towards the U.S. unchecked, and hit out at the Democratic party for opposing his own brand of tough border control.
Trump did not elaborate on his threats to send soldiers to the border today. López Obrador, the president-elect, will take over December 1.
"How they're going to cross is what we're anxious about", he said. Thousands of Honduran migrants are traveling through Guatemala, according to humanitarian aid groups.
Immigrants fleeing violence or other threats who seek refugee status to stay in Mexico will have to request it at the border and wait up to 45 days in immigration detention, the government said in a statement Wednesday.