Pressure turns to Mexico as migrant caravan heads for border

10/18/2018 – The Washington Post 

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(Moises Castillo/Associated Press)

Sonia Perez

As some 3,000 Hondurans made their way through Guatemala, attention — and pressure — turned to Mexico, after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened Thursday to close the U.S.-Mexico border if authorities there fail to stop them — a nearly unthinkable move that would disrupt hundreds of thousands of legal freight, vehicle and pedestrian crossings each day.

With less than three weeks before the Nov. 6 midterm elections, Trump seized on the migrant caravan to make border security a political issue and energize his Republican base.

“I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught — and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!” Trump tweeted on Thursday, adding that he blamed Democrats for what he called “weak laws!”

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More Honduran migrants seek to join U.S.-bound group in Guatemala

10/18/2018 – Reuters

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Honduran migrants, part of a caravan trying to reach the U.S., are seen on a truck during a new leg of her travel in Zacapa, Guatemala October 17, 2018. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

Edgard Garrido

More Honduran migrants tried to join a caravan of several thousand trekking through Guatemala on Wednesday, defying calls by authorities not to make the journey after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to cut off regional aid in reprisal.

The caravan has been growing steadily since it left the violent Honduran city of San Pedro Sula on Saturday. The migrants hope to reach Mexico and then cross its northern border with the United States, to seek refuge from endemic violence and poverty in Central America.

Several thousand people are now journeying in the caravan, according to a Reuters witness traveling with the group in Guatemala, where men, women and children on foot or riding in trucks filled a road on their long journey to Mexico.

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Mexico warns migrant caravan to avoid deportation after Trump threat

10/18/2018 – The Hill 

5736098043_ae2658c58b_bRafael Bernal 

The Mexican government on Wednesday warned Central American migrants moving north in a caravan to avoid detention and deportation back to their home countries, a move that follows President Trump warning he could cut off aid if the caravan is not stopped.

In a joint statement, the secretaries of foreign affairs and the interior stopped short of shutting the country’s southern border to the Hondurans, while making clear Mexico will enforce its immigration laws.

“In compliance with current national legislation, any person who enters the country in an irregular manner, will be rescued and subject to an administrative procedure and, where appropriate, will be returned to their country of origin, in a safe and orderly manner,” reads the statement.

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Trump Warns Mexico on Migrant Caravan, Threatens to Close Border

10/18/2018 – The New York Times

5440384453_4669d0096b_bPresident Donald Trump threatened to deploy the military and close the southern U.S. border on Thursday if Mexico did not move to halt large groups of migrants headed for the United States from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

“I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught – and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Trump threatened to withhold aid to the region as a caravan with several thousand Honduran migrants traveled this week through Guatemala to Mexico in hopes of crossing into the United States to escape violence and poverty in Central America.

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Borderline Navigating the invisible boundary and physical barriers that define the U.S.-Mexico border

10/17/2018 – The Washington Post

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Photo by izhar khan on Pexels.com

In 1989, the first fence built to stop illegal crossings from Mexico to the United States was erected in San Diego, where the border begins. From here, the border stretches for almost 2,000 miles, only 700 of which are walled or fenced. President Trump wants to change that.

San Diego

That first fence was a line of surplus helicopter landing pads, welded together. It stopped vehicles but not climbers, so a taller secondary layer came in 1996. Then came a third layer, including at Friendship Park, the one place where families not permitted to travel between the countries can gather to talk through mesh.

Nearly six miles east of Friendship Park is the port of entry at San Ysidro, which is the most heavily traveled in the Western Hemisphere; 135,000 people cross there each day.

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Record number of families crossing U.S. border as Trump threatens new crackdown

10/17/2018 – The Washington Post

chain linked fence
Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

The number of migrant parents entering the United States with children has surged to record levels in the three months since President Trump ended family separations at the border, dealing the administration a deepening crisis three weeks before the midterm elections.

Border Patrol agents arrested 16,658 family members in September, the highest one-month total on record and an 80 percent increase from July, according to unpublished Department of Homeland Security statistics obtained by The Washington Post.

Large groups of 100 or more Central American parents and children have been crossing the Rio Grande and the deserts of Arizona to turn themselves in, and after citing a fear of return, the families are typically assigned a court date and released from custody.

“We’re getting hammered daily,” said one Border Patrol agent in South Texas who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the news media.

The Latest: Mexico Says No Special Treatment for Caravan

10/17/2018 – The New York Times

3975895428_2e5d67614f_zMexico’s government says people in a caravan of Honduran migrants headed for the U.S. will be treated the same as anyone else entering the country: That means those with proper documents can enter and those who don’t either have to apply for refugee status or face deportation.

In a joint statement Wednesday, Mexico’s Foreign Relations and Interior Departments said that anyone in the caravan with travel documents and a proper visa will be allowed to enter, and anyone who wants to apply for refugee status can do so.

But the statement said all cases must be processed individually, suggesting that authorities have no intention of letting the migrants simply cross the border en masse without going through standard immigration procedures.

 

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