Mexican Government Moves to Break Up Migrant Caravan

Hannah Rogers
April 4, 2018

In a statement released Monday night, the Mexican foreign ministry said 400 of the migrants in the caravan entered Mexico illegally and had already been repatriated. If they do, Trump says he might cut off US aid to Honduras and terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he says has benefited Mexico.

The department also said that unlike in previous yearly caravans, "this time Mexican immigration authorities have offered refugee status" to participants who qualify.

"Getting more unsafe. "Caravans" coming", Trump tweeted Sunday. "It is unmanageable", said Irineo Mujica, director of "Pueblo Sin Fronteras", the activist group behind the annual symbolic event. Mexico deported 16,278 people during the first two months of 2018; 97 percent of them were Central Americans, according to the Washington Office on Latin America, a human rights group.

"They've been helping us, in part to speed the massive group out of their jurisdictions".

On Tuesday, Trump threatened that the "caravan" "had better be stopped before it" reached the US border. The plan boosted patrols near Mexico's long-neglected border with Guatemala and also aimed to improve railway infrastructure to prevent migrants from stealing rides on a northbound freight train known as "The Beast".

They began as short processions of migrants, some dressed in biblical garb and carrying crosses, as an Easter-season protest against the kidnappings, extortion, beatings and killings suffered by many Central American migrants as they cross Mexico.

Members of the caravan who receive such visas will be able to travel unhindered by Mexico's police and other immigration enforcement agents. Cash cow Nafta is in play, as is foreign aid to Honduras and the countries that allow this to happen. Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray responded indirectly on Sunday, tweeting, "Every day Mexico and the USA work together on migration throughout the region".

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"It is not this government's responsibility to make immigration decisions for the United States or any other country, so it will be up to the appropriate authorities of the United States to decide whether to authorize the entry of the caravan participants to US territory", the statement said. "We agreed to analyze the best ways to attend to the flows of migrants in accordance with the laws of each country", Navarrete tweeted. Beta officers have the delicate task of protecting migrants without encouraging them.

An organizer of the caravan, Alex Mensing, said that it "didn't bring anyone" to the United States, but "accompanied people who have made a decision to flee".

Trump said he thought Mexico was having some success in stopping the caravan.

Gina Garibo, one of the organizers of the volunteer group that organized the caravan, said that migrants would keep moving, but in smaller groups, BuzzFeed reported. The remaining migrants will be subjected to an "administrative migration procedure", the government said, though it was unclear how many marchers would be allowed to continue their journey to the USA border.

Trump's tweets once again threatened the ongoing re-negotiation of the NAFTA trade deal and came as campaigns kicked off for Mexico's July 1 presidential elections.

Trump also said he would use incorporate this into renegotiations of NAFTA while also grumbling that America has "no border" thanks to former President Barack Obama.

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