Trump threatens to close border to Mexico

Frederick Owens
October 20, 2018

The president announced plans in April to send thousands of National Guard troops to the border, where they could remain until his promised wall is constructed.

The Mexican government has said any migrant who decides to cross illegally will be detained and deported.

On the Mexican side of a border bridge, they were met by a phalanx of police with riot shields.

Dozens of Mexican federal police officers were on the border bridge, with hundreds more behind them, after flying to the area this week on orders from Mexican officials, following a request by U.S. President Donald Trump to the presidents of Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras to stop the caravan.

Police and immigration agents let small groups of 10, 20, 30 people through the gates if they wanted to apply for refugee status.

He blamed Democrats for obstructing his attempts at reforming the country's immigration laws.

This past spring, when another caravan of Central American migrants crossed intoMexico, such policies allowed the group to make it to the US border.

Officials in Mexico said anyone in the Honduran caravan who had proper documents could enter the country.

On Twitter, Trump said he wanted "Mexico to stop this onslaught", or he will use the military to "CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER".

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The group of Salvadoreans, Hondurans and Guatemalans say they are fleeing violence and poverty.

Lopez Obrador, who takes office in December, said in the northern city of Saltillo on Thursday that he believed "an agreement can be reached" on the migration issue. He has long pushed economic development as a way to keep people from migrating, and on Wednesday he reached out again.

"I want to get to the States to contribute to that country", Cristian said, "to do any kind of work, picking up garbage". Only about 150 made it to the border crossing at Tijuana, seeking asylum. The group was comprised of 100 Guatemalans and eight Hondurans.

The exhausted travelers are mostly from Honduras, but migrants from other Central American countries have joined the caravan.

In a series of raging tweets, the United States president urged Mexico to "stop this onslaught" and prevent the would-be immigrants from entering the US.

Trump took things up a notch, falsely accusing Democrats wanting "Open Borders" and leading the "assault on our country" by a "large flow of people, INCLUDING MANY CRIMINALS". Mexico reportedly responded by sending police to its own southern border to stop the caravan from coming through after the threat was made.

Mexico's incoming foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, told local radio that he was not surprised by Trump's comments, and said it was political.

Trump's stance, he said, was "what he has always presented", adding he saw "nothing surprising in it". Dwindling in numbers along the way, the caravan totalled around 150 migrants by the time it reached Tijuana, at the United States border.

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