Trump threatens to send army to US-Mexico border in migrant row

Frederick Owens
October 20, 2018

Already some migrants from the caravan have begun to arrive, seeking refuge, Mexico's foreign ministry said in a statement Thursday night.

He tweeted on Tuesday: "The United States has strongly informed the President of Honduras that if the large Caravan of people heading to the not stopped and brought back to Honduras, no more money or aid will be given to Honduras, effective immediately!"

At times Mexico has stepped up its immigration patrols along the border, but it has had more success patrolling the roads leading away from the crossing where migrants catch rides or walk along the roadside.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said members of the administration were "not angry at one another" - that the Trump team is "passionate about solving the issue of illegal immigration". Trump claims there are criminals among the migrants and is urging Mexico "in the strongest terms" to stop them.

As the mass of humanity strung out from Guatemala City to the border, it was unclear whether those who made it the farthest would wait for their countrymen to arrive before attempting a mass crossing into Mexico.

"He's making a political calculation", said Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico's incoming foreign minister, about Trump's posting on Twitter, in a reference to US midterm elections in November.

Central American governments have dismissed Trump's threats to block U.S. aid.

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The Honduran migrant caravan is seen as a effect of poverty and insecurity in the Central American country, wracked by gang and drug-related violence.

The 1878 Posse Comitatus Act bars Trump from using the military as a police force, and while Trump could ask Congress for a waiver, that is unlikely because Senate Democrats, who oppose his border security agenda, can block passage of most legislation.

But Moreno told the Wall Street Journal on Friday that the border was not closed and that Mexico would allow some 100 migrants a day into the country to review their humanitarian and asylum requests.

What awaited them across the border was uncertain. That episode caused a spat between the United States and Mexico and was used to justify a deployment of National Guard troops to the border. Anyone with appropriate travel documents and visas will be let into Mexico, while others will be allowed to apply for refugee status. "Foreign Secretary Videgaray and I have talked about the importance of stopping this flow before it reaches the USA border".

Adding to pressure on Mexico, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Mexico City to discuss bilateral issues Friday with his Mexican counterparts.

Trump, who ran in 2016 promising to tighten United States immigration laws end the inflow of people entering the country illegally, has called for cutting off foreign aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador if they do not stop the migrants.

He said he had spoken with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez about ensuring the migrants who want to return home can do so safely.

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