Migrant dies in clash at border bridge

Hannah Rogers
October 29, 2018

Although the recent caravans of Central Americans have drawn US officials' attention, migrating is a daily reality for many Salvadorans.

A second caravan that recently formed broke through border gates in the Guatemala town of Tecun Uman and clashed with Mexican authorities Sunday, resulting in the death of a 26-year-old Honduran man.

The US will deploy 5,000 troops to the southern border in response to the thousands of Central American migrants headed to America - up from the initial estimate of 800, according to reports Monday.

The caravan still must travel 1,000 miles to reach the nearest USA border crossing at McAllen, Texas, and the trip could be twice as long if the group of some 4,000 migrants heads for the Tijuana-San Diego frontier, as another caravan did earlier this year. But now there's a smaller one out of Guatemala consisting of several hundred migrants who are hoping to catch up to the big caravan currently leaving Tepanatepec.

Mexico's Interior Ministry said that temporary identity numbers have been issued to 111 migrants under the program. The ministry said pregnant women, children and the elderly were among those who had joined the program and were now being attended at shelters.

Lenny embraces her son Steven, 1, while bathing after walking with a Central American caravan of migrants in Tapanatepec, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. She had heard that job opportunities were scarce in southern Mexico. "Here in this truck right now you can get help", he said. She was also suspicious of the Mexican proposal, fearing that she would be deported if she applies for asylum in Mexico.

"If I send them to the store, I'm going to worry if they don't come back soon", she said.

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Mexican officials have greeted the caravan with a mixture of hospitality and hostility.

What doesn't seem to be in dispute is that at least some of the migrants in this group were carrying rocks and bottles to throw at the police.

As it left San Salvador, the group was accompanied by police who would "guarantee safety" all the way to the Guatemala border, one officer told AFP.

On Friday, the Pentagon approved a request for additional troops at the southern border, likely to total several hundred, to help the U.S. Border Patrol as the president seeks to transform concerns about immigration and the caravan into electoral gains in the November 6 midterms.

What migrants in the caravan understand is that, as members of a family unit from Central America, if they set foot in the United States, they have a good chance of staying (hundreds of migrants from a 1,500-strong caravan earlier this year reportedly made it into the United States). So, much like the group before them, they stormed Mexico's southern border and forced their way across.

Asked about Trump's tone on the caravan, Sen. The Pentagon approved a request for additional troops at the southern border, likely to total several hundred, to help the U.S. Border Patrol as the president seeks to transform concerns about immigration and the caravan into electoral gains in the November 6 midterms.

Trump is correct that this is an insane way for a sovereign country to run its immigration policy, and that Republicans want to try to fix it by tightening the rules, while Democrats support the latitudinarian status quo.

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