Published: Sat, October 20, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Caravan of 3,000 Central American migrants prepares to cross into Mexico

Caravan of 3,000 Central American migrants prepares to cross into Mexico

TECUN UMAN, Guatemala-A caravan of 3,000 Honduran migrants that has drawn the ire of U.S. President Trump began to mass near Guatemala's border with Mexico, setting up a showdown with Mexican authorities who have vowed to prevent the group from continuing their journey to the U.S. In fact, the number of family units crossing the southern border reportedly spiked in September, just months after the Trump Administration ended a policy of separating children from their parents at the border. They have also sent two Boeing 727s full of police reinforcement and riot gear.

The numbers trying to enter the United States had prompted a warning from Mr Trump, where he insisted he would call up the USA military and close the southern border with Mexico if Mexico failed to stop the masses of people from travelling through that country.

But experts on refugees say those moves are unlikely to stop this caravan or stem future ones, since the migrants are primarily driven by conditions in their home countries, not US policy.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lands at Mexico City International Airport on October 18. That caravan dissipated as it approached the USA border.

Mr. Pompeo is expected to meet with Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray, Foreign Secretary-designate Marcelo Ebrard, and departing President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Trump's comments came as he has been urging fellow Republicans to make immigration a central issue in the closing weeks of their midterm election campaigns and blaming Democrats for his failure to pass immigration legislation in the GOP-controlled Congress. Busloads of Mexican federal police were gathering in Ciudad Hidalgo and a Mexican military helicopter flew along the river in anticipation.

"Gentlemen, we have to be ready in case the wave comes to here, OK?"

But Moreno told the Wall Street Journal on Friday that the border was not closed and that Mexico would allow some 100 migrants a day into the country to review their humanitarian and asylum requests. Other officers unloaded shields and antiriot equipment from a police bus. The migrants intent to claim refugee status but some have raised doubts over who these people really are and whether they are fleeing violence. They'd been traveling since 4 a.m. and arrived at the border after dark. Vox declared that "Trump's "caravan" tantrum could put migrants in danger".

"If that's the case, I don't think Mexico should be too anxious because in a sense ... it's the same kind of thing USA administrations have been doing for a long time", Leutert said.

-Courtney McBride contributed to this article.

"Coordinated smuggling of large numbers of Central Americans is taking place daily here", Yuma Sector Chief Patrol Agent Anthony Porvaznik said in a written statement.

Trump tweeted that he wanted "Mexico to stop this onslaught".

In addition to making clear the current requirements for allowing migrants into Mexico, Moreno stressed "that there is no such thing as a transit visa for those wishing to cross Mexico to reach its northern border", according to a press release from the Mexican government. "We are not going to attend to the issue only with deportations or means of force".

He said he had spoken with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez about ensuring the migrants who want to return home can do so safely.

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