Migrant caravan swells to 5,000 resumes advance toward US

October 21 15:43 2018

The migrants have defied threats by Trump that he will close the U.S. -Mexico border if the caravan advances and warnings from the Mexican government that they risk deportation if they can not justify seeking asylum in Mexico.

Thousands of people travelling across Central America en masse to the United States have resumed their journey to enter the country from southern Mexico.

Earlier this week, President Trump tweeted that he will send USA troops to close the border with Mexico if the group of migrants is not stopped.

The president appears to agree, promising to deploy the military if the caravan makes it to the US border.

The president has repeatedly claimed that the migrants, and immigrants more broadly, lead to increased crime rates and allow illegal substances to pass over the border, although statistics suggest they do not.

About 1,000 migrants now remain on the bridge between Guatemala and Mexico.

In response, Republican Senator Jon Kyl has asked the Department of Homeland Security to help find ways to deal with the wave of migrants in the region.

President Trump, who has threatened to cut aid to Honduras over the issue, thanked Mexico for holding back the group.

More than 300 people have taken up a government offer of a bus ride home to their country, police said.

A Border Patrol official who was not authorized to speak publicly tells CBS News that agents at the border “are swamped”, with more and more large groups crossing together.

“Only God on high can stop us”, Escobar said.

The migrants are generally fleeing poverty and insecurity in Honduras, where powerful street gangs rule their turf with brutal violence.

A better solution for the Honduran caravan (which reached Mexico’s southern border on Friday) is going to be required and the President is running out of time.

Some were distrustful of buses that arrived to ferry the women, children and elderly migrants to be processed, the AP noted.

A few of the caravan members, who ranged from farmers and bakers to housewives and students, and included a whole block of friends and family from the Honduran city of El Progreso, said they would start going back to where they came from on Saturday.

He said he wants to reach the U.S.to work and save money before returning to Honduras.

“It’s a challenge that Mexico is facing, and that’s how I expressed it to Secretary Pompeo”, Videgaray told a news conference alongside his USA counterpart.

“The more the USA border has become militarized, the more migration has become the realm of organized criminal elements in Mexico, the more expensive it is for Central Americans, the more risky it is for Central Americans and the more that we’re going to see these caravans that are a form of protection for Central Americans as they cross through Mexico”, Oglesby said. In April, several hundred made it to the US border near San Diego, and a limited number were allowed to apply for asylum in the U.S.

Some migrants, exhausted of waiting, jumped off the bridge into the Suchiate River on Friday.

As they passed through Mexican villages on the outskirts of the city of Ciudad Hidalgo, they drew applause, cheers and donations of food and clothing from Mexicans. Now a minority have turned back, using transport organised by Guatemalan security forces. “The United States stands ready to assist the Government of Mexico and UNHCR in this effort”.

Tear gas and smoke canisters were hurled at the cheering migrants to push them back as they climbed up the steel gate, reported CNN.

Any who decide to cross illegally and are caught will be detained and deported, the Mexican government has said.

“We’re going to wait for those still on their way but who are close by” before trying to cross, Mario Mejia, who seemed to be one of the migrants’ leaders, told AFP. “They’re not coming into this country”.

Some in the caravan had broken an accord with Mexican authorities to proceed in an orderly fashion at the border, Navarette said.

A Honduran migrant child part of a caravan trying to reach the US looks though the gate on the bridge that connects Mexico and Guatemala in Tecun Uman Guatemala

Migrant caravan swells to 5,000 resumes advance toward US
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