Published: Mon, January 20, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Migrants enter slowly at Guatemala-Mexico border after scuffles

Migrants enter slowly at Guatemala-Mexico border after scuffles

Migrants charge on the Mexican National Guardsmen at the border crossing between Guatemala and Mexico in Tecun Uman, Guatemala, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020.

The migrants claim that they are fleeing their country to escape poverty, crime and violence.

There were scuffles on the border earlier when dozens tried to force their way across the border and were pushed back by Mexican security forces.

Asylum seekers who manage to make it to the United States border are, after long waits, generally sent back to Mexico to await the outcome of their cases or, more recently, flown to other countries in the region and told their only option is to apply for refuge there.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has launched a series of initiatives to create jobs in the poorer south.

The Trump administration announced in November that it had started sending migrants from Honduras and El Salvador to Guatemala as part of its "safe third country" agreement.

At least 600 Honduran migrants spent the night under tents in a shelter in Guatemala City on Thursday night, sleeping on mattresses.

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Officials said they expect numerous migrants to give up and return to their home country.

The caravan was reminiscent of the large-scale mobilizations of mostly Central American migrants that provoked the ire of Mr. Trump, who compelled his regional counterparts to step up their migration enforcement efforts by freezing American aid and threatening tariffs.

As the latest caravan wends its way across Guatemala, Mexico will likely find itself under renewed pressure from the United States to strengthen its borders further and block the group's passage across its territory. He made a large caravan heading north in 2018 a centrepiece of his campaigning on behalf of Republicans during that year's midterm election, though ultimately his party lost control of the House of Representatives to the Democrats. "However, the country must first provide "access to a full and fair procedure for determining a claim to asylum" in order to qualify as safe".

Fox News Flash top headlines for January 18 are here.

Guatemala's former president Jimmy Morales, with weeks left in his term, agreed last July with the USA government to implement measures aimed at reducing the number of asylum claims made in the United States by migrants fleeing Honduras and El Salvador, averting Trump's threat of economic sanctions.

Tens of thousands of Central American migrants crossed Mexico toward the USA past year in large caravans, fleeing chronic poverty and brutal gang violence and seeking safety in numbers from the dangers of the journey.

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