Trump says he's reducing Central American aid over migrants

Gladys Abbott
October 22, 2018

USA officials - and President Trump - warned the marchers when they started the march earlier this month in Honduras.

"Full efforts are being made to stop the onslaught of illegal aliens from crossing our [southern] Border", Trump tweeted Sunday. Dozens of Mexicans in pickup trucks have pulled over to let 10 or even 20 migrants hop in back.

Migrants cited widespread poverty and gang violence in Honduras, one of the world's deadliest nations by homicide rate, as their reasons for joining the caravan.

The caravan formed October 13 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and arrived in Guatemala on Monday. She clutched her two-year-old daughter Dayani, who had recently had a heart operation, as she got off a raft. But the 25-year-old farmer was determined to press onward, explaining that the $6 a day he made back home was not enough to live on. They left the migrants to prepare for the long journey across the country and to the USA, where they plan to test the administration's resolve.

But even as the USA -bound caravan moved into Mexico, Mexican police in riot gear were deployed at highway junctions, as a military helicopter circled overhead, prompting many migrants to wonder if police will make mass arrests and seek to turn the caravan back.

"I am asking President Trump to help us.people like me.who want to survive".

Hundreds of migrants from the caravan did just that - applied for refugee status in Mexico in the southern city of Ciudad Hidalgo.

The throng is now marching toward the Mexican town of Tapachula, "10 abreast in a line stretching approximately a mile", the Associated Press reported.

"Si se pudo!" they chanted in Spanish - "Yes, we did!"

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption A number of injuries were reported in the clashes on Friday What will happen to them now?

Throughout Saturday, around 900 migrants - exhausted of waiting on the bridge - resorted to crossing the Suchiate River below on makeshift rafts and police did not intervene as they clambered up the muddy riverbank on the Mexican side.

" Many migrants are attempting to transit these countries and in the process are violating their sovereignty, their laws, and their procedures".

"You have to help the next person".

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"We chose to join those who were going", said Edgar Aguilar.

Trump's Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated that policy in a statement late Sunday, saying the administration is closely following the progress of the caravan and accusing the migrants of violating the sovereignty, laws and procedures of the countries they are traveling through. But "they are going to continue walking, and their feet won't heel as long as they keep walking", he said. Federal police officers were at times present on the road, monitoring the procession, and a police helicopter circled overhead, but the authorities allowed the procession to carry on unimpeded.

Mexican villagers have organized to offer them water, food and clothing.

Maria Teresa Orellana, a resident of the neighborhood of Lorenzo handed out free sandals to the migrants as they passed.

"Why would I want to go to the United States if I'm going to be persecuted" there as well, she said.

Mexico's president-elect says he is suggesting to U.S. President Donald Trump that the United States, Canada and Mexico jointly tackle migration by agreeing to invest in development. "They've really stepped up, and it will not be forgotten".

President Trump last week warned Mexico that "we're calling up the military - not the Guard" if the government can not stop the caravan from reaching the border.

"They're not coming into this country", said Trump, who has sought to make the caravan and border security in general a campaign issue for Republicans ahead of the USA midterm elections.

"In this way, we confront the phenomenon of migration, because he who leaves his town does not leave for pleasure but out of necessity", he added.

The migrants seemed confused over their next moves while it was equally unclear how Mexican authorities would react to so many unauthorized arrivals.

On Saturday Mexican authorities attempted to resolve the challenge posed by the caravan waiting to enter Mexico's southern border by legal means. Mexican police tried to stop the human wave but after scuffling at a border crossing with Guatemala, Mexican police basically gave up.

He continued to heap blame on the Democrats for the migrants marching north.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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