Published: Fri, October 19, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

USA military will shut Mexico border to stop illegal immigration

USA military will shut Mexico border to stop illegal immigration

They blame the Trump administration for backing the Honduran government, and accuse the USA president of scapegoating migrants and refugees.

President Donald Trump on Thursday dusted off the cobwebs of an old proposal from April to deploy military troops along the southern US border in an effort to stem illegal crossings by immigrants.

In a series of tweets, Trump said that if Mexico is incapable of stopping the immigrants, he will "call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!"

Hundreds of Honduran migrants stand at the shore of the Suchiate river on the border between Guatemala and Mexico, in Tecun Uman, Guatemala, Oct. 18, 2018.

"We're obviously sensitive to the humanitarian situation that we encounter, and we're acting precisely", Gutierrez added.

"The assault on our country at our Southern Border, including the Criminal elements and DRUGS pouring in, is far more important to me, as President, than Trade or the [United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement]", Trump wrote.

"It was a great sacrifice, but it's all for a better life", he said.

The Mexican consulate in Guatemala published a statement saying immigrants who wish to enter Mexico must have "travel documents and a visa" and that those who "enter into the country in an irregular manner" will be returned "to their country of origin, in a secure and orderly manner".

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A similar caravan of migrants made the journey to the USA in April, taking the same route from Honduras to the United States, via Guatemala and Mexico.

Mexican authorities, in search of a way to satisfy President Trump's demands to deter the migrants without appearing to violate global law, have asked the United Nations to set up a migrant processing center near its southern border.

"If we don't get across, we're going to try the same thing again", said Gustavo Perez, a builder from Honduras, speaking at a shelter in Guatemala City. "I don't think you can prevent people from leaving if they want to".

Mujica, who had previously led a migrant caravan to the USA border in the spring, said he was detained during a peaceful march.

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

Hondurans have the right to free movement in some Central American countries, although there have been reports of migrants being blocked at the Guatemalan border.

A caravan of vehicles carrying more than 2,000 migrants left last Saturday from the northern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula after organizing themselves on social media. Trump has threatened to withdraw some of the region's $2.6 billion in foreign aid if the migrants are let through.

But Marcelo Ebrard, who has been picked as Mexico's next foreign minister, downplayed the comments and said Trump was appealing to his domestic political base. They also said migrants caught without papers would be deported. "He's making a political calculation".

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