Migrant Caravan's Arduous Journey Through Central America Toward U.S

Hannah Rogers
October 20, 2018

President Donald Trump has threatened to close down the U.S. -Mexico border if authorities in Mexico and Central American countries fail to stop the caravan, which has about 3,000 to 4,000 people.

On Twitter, Trump said he wanted "Mexico to stop this onslaught", or he will use the military to "CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER".

Despite their sharp differences, the U.S. and Mexico have made progress on several issues, including the signing of an updated transcontinental trade pact, the U.S. -Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

The president also dispatched U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in Mexico City on Friday.

Lieutenant Colonel Jamie Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said that while National Guard troops were now supporting the Department of Homeland Security on the United States southern border, the Pentagon had not been tasked to provide additional support.

The caravan caused the Mexican government to announce it would enforce immigration laws and turn back those who did not obtain a visa to travel through country.

In April, Trump said that he wanted to deploy more U.S. troops on the border until the completion of his planned wall between the United States and Mexico.

Gutierrez told Fox News that his country would accept those with genuine asylum claims. However, no migrants have been moved to any US military facilities in 2018, said Davis, the Pentagon spokesman.

More than 2,000 Hondurans are in a migrant caravan trying to reach the United States.

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Those who apply for refugee status will be vetted by United Nations officials at the immigration shelters on the border.

Many immigrants said they joined the caravan after seeing it covered by Honduran news outlets last week. "At the time more than 60,000 UACs-many with criminal histories-had stormed into the U.S.in a matter of months".

Late on Thursday, Trump retweeted a video of Mexican federal police arriving at the Guatemalan border and wrote: "Thank you Mexico, we look forward to working with you!"

But at least five USA states later refused to send the troops amid an outcry over a since-abandoned White House policy to separate migrant children from their parents at the border.

An estimated 10% of the population of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras have fled danger, forced gang recruitment and dismal economic opportunities.

An immigration activist who led a similar migrant caravan through Mexico in April was arrested on Thursday in the Mexican city of Ciudad Hidalgo.

"It was predictable and also the election process is very close, so he is making a political calculation", he added.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales on Wednesday dismissed threatened curbs to foreign aid, and said he had spoken with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez about ensuring the migrants who want to return home can do so safely.

The migrants say they organized for the long and hard journey on social media, but Washington suspects the group has been organized as a deliberate provocation.

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