Published: Fri, October 19, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Trump threatens to close Mexico border over migrants

Trump threatens to close Mexico border over migrants

Trump said Mexico should do more to stop the caravans that were coming from Central America and if that didn't happen, "I will call up the U.S. Military and close our southern border". Trump said on Twitter.

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

In a series of tweets, Trump blamed Democrats, leaders of Central American countries and "existing weak laws" for the influx.

This includes a visit to Mexico ahead of its December inauguration of President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

The last time a similar caravan of immigrants sought to cross into Mexico, in April, authorities gave its participants short-term visas that allowed them to travel through Mexico and reach the United States border.

That's a tiny portion of the nearly 1,350 miles (2,170 kilometers) they'd have to travel to reach the closest US border.

In a series of tweets Thursday morning, Trump accused the governments of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador of allowing a large "caravan" of migrants to proceed towards the U.S. unchecked, and hit out at the Democratic party for opposing his own brand of tough border control. That angered Trump, who sent National Guard troops to the U.S. -Mexico border, saying the caravan posed a threat to U.S. sovereignty.

On Wednesday, Mexican officials said those in the Honduran caravan with proper documentation could enter the country and those without it would have to apply for refugee status or face deportation.

The threat followed another one earlier this week to cut off aid to Central American countries if the migrants weren't stopped.

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The new deal, which replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement, has yet to be signed by the three countries.

Mr Trump's recent comments are probably an effort to bolster support among his base by cracking down on migration.

"We're obviously sensitive to the humanitarian situation that we encounter, and we're acting precisely", Gutierrez added.

Trump claimed that "Criminal elements and DRUGS [are] pouring in" and that it is "All Democrats [sic] fault for weak laws!"

Trump is renewing his threat, though, as a caravan of migrants from Honduras makes its way north toward the USA border. "Great Midterm issue for Republicans!".

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said Wednesday that while Central Americans are legally free to transit from country to country under a regional agreement, a "massive ingress of people without registering" puts Guatemala in a hard position because it's impossible to know who the people are and what may be the intentions of any of their leaders.

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 USA policy.

"If you think about the kind people you want to have in this country, you want people who are hardworking, people who are ethical, people who look out for their families and their communities and people who are very physically strong", she said.

Juan Escobar, 24, who was among the Honduran migrants in the caravan, said such rhetoric would not dissuade them from continuing the journey.

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