The contrasts of Mexico's southern and northern borders

Aaron Brown
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.

US President Donald Trump threatened Thursday to send the military to the Mexican border and to imperil a trade deal in an intensification of his anti-immigrant rhetoric ahead of congressional elections. He was referring to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which is awaiting ratification.

There are already about 2,000 National Guard troops stationed along the US border with Mexico, where they have been deployed since Trump ordered them there in April in response to another group of migrants that attempted to seek refugee status in the United States. In April, thousands of National Guard troops were deployed to the southern border to assist with security operations there, although their assistance was limited to surveillance work.

Illegal immigration is likely to be a top issue in November 6 U.S. congressional elections, when Democrats are seen as having a good chance of gaining control of the House of Representatives from Mr Trump's fellow Republicans. The rest want to reach the US like him. Some climbed atop the gate and the USA -donated jeeps as they clamoured to be allowed to pass.

In the caravan, Central American migrants hiked from Honduras through muddy jungle and residential streets, some toting babies along with backpacks, Reuters images show.

However, by the end of Thursday, the US president was also thanking Mexico for its efforts to contain the caravan.

One Honduran human rights group said the migration was more a case of "forced displacement" than voluntary emigration, although the Honduran government has warned people not to join an "irregular movement" it describes as "political".

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Any who decide to cross illegally and are caught will be detained and deported, the Mexican government has said. Hundreds of federal police officers and immigration officers have been sent to the porous border region along the Suchiate River which divides the two neighbours.

The migrants are fleeing their country because of violence and poverty. Obrador is scheduled to take office on December 1, 2018.

Cristian, who is among the informal leaders of the caravan, estimated about 30 percent of the migrants want to apply for refugee status in Mexico.

It remains unclear how many migrants were able to successfully enter Mexico by force.

The caravan successfully used the same strategy on Monday to cross from Honduras to Guatemala at the border town of Agua Caliente, despite efforts by some 100 police to stop them.

However, he added that only 15 of 132 Central Americans registered in the town had come from the caravan.

"It was predictable, and it's also very close to the election", he said.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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