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

Trump, who has vowed to curtail immigration and build a border wall on the U.S. -Mexico border, threatened this week to halt aid if Central American governments did not act.

In his series of Thursday tweets, Trump threatened to rip up a recently signed trade agreement with Mexico if Enrique Peña Nieto's government doesn't act to stop illegal immigration and the drug trade at the border, with Mexican drug cartels making an estimated $19-29 billion per year on drug sales in the US.

Referring to a so-called caravan of several thousand Hondurans that has departed in hopes of reaching the United States, Trump claimed Democrats were to blame for an "assault on our country by Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador" with a caravan "INCLUDING MANY CRIMINALS".

The caravan arrived at the border in southern Mexico on Thursday but turned around Friday, the Associated Press reported. And he threatened to send troops to "shut down" the southern USA border if Mexico failed to stop what he called an "onslaught".

Thousands of migrants traveling in a caravan briefly moved toward a border crossing on the Mexico-Guatemala frontier before turning around. "No American should suffer or be brutalized in order to fulfill the Democrats' fantasy of a borderless society", she said, adding American workers should not have their wages lowered because of cheaper, illegal immigrant labor.

Trump also warned that he prioritizes border security over even the recently struck trade deal to replace NAFTA, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA.

Military officials instructed troops to alert border agents if they encountered migrants, rather than intervene themselves except in cases of self defence.

Mexico's main reaction has been to step up security on its southern border with Guatemala. Numerous migrants may chose to stay in countries along the route, though the Mexican government is already preparing a response.

Corzo said police accused Mujica of slashing the tires of an immigration vehicle.

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.

Mexico's ambassador to Guatemala says his country has made a decision to enforce a policy of "metered entry" since thousands of migrants are clamoring to cross.

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

"They have the right to seek asylum at the border", Espinoza-Madrigal said. Earlier this year, some National Guard members were deployed to the border on a limited mission that does not include contact with migrants.

Mexico's president, Enrique Peña Nieto, is also hosting emergency talks with the U.S. secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, on Friday, to assess the situation.

The migrant caravan, estimated at some 3,000 people, were preparing to cross into Mexico on October 19, reported the Associated Press.

By Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump had weighed in with a warning, threatening to cut foreign aid to Honduras if the group didn't turn back.

Many immigrants said they joined the caravan after seeing it covered by Honduran news outlets last week.

"We have been here since 4 a.m.", said Veliz. "But it becomes much harder when President Trump makes this a political issue in which he bashes Mexico".

  • David Armstrong