Migrant caravan: Mexico sends police to southern border


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The caravan set off from northern Honduras final week

Mexico has despatched lots of of police to its southern border as a caravan of hundreds of Central American migrants approaches from Guatemala.

The transfer got here after President Donald Trump threatened to make use of navy pressure to fully shut the US-Mexico border over the problem.

He additionally stated he support could possibly be minimize to international locations permitting the caravan to cross.

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

Mr Trump has beforehand threatened to chop Honduran support. The US despatched greater than $175m (£130m) to the nation in 2016 and 2017, in keeping with the US Company for Worldwide Improvement.

Unusual time for Mexico

By Will Grant, Mexico and Central America correspondent

Mexico’s primary response has been to step up safety on its southern border with Guatemala. Tons of of federal cops and immigration officers have been despatched to the porous border area alongside the Suchiate River which divides the 2 neighbours.

Partially, the response is meant to each dissuade the migrants from even trying to enter Mexico and probably to point out the Trump administration that Mexico is prepared to, as the federal government put it, “keep order”.

Past that, this case catches Mexico at a wierd time. One administration, that of President Enrique Peña Nieto, is leaving workplace and the brand new one, of President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, is not but via the door.

Migrant caravans of this kind are nothing new, they very often happen. Nevertheless, this one, coming because it does so near the US mid-term elections in November, has taken on a extremely political dimension, to that time that President Trump has threatened to make use of the navy and shut the US southern border.

Why does it concern Trump?

The group of Central American migrants has made its intentions clear: they’re heading to the US.

Since he was on the marketing campaign path, Mr Trump has lambasted unlawful immigrants, and this newest caravan comes after a serious crackdown on migrants heading over the Mexican border.

Adjustments to detention guidelines noticed hundreds of migrant youngsters detained and separated from their mother and father earlier this 12 months, sparking nationwide and worldwide condemnation.

The president’s threats additionally come simply weeks earlier than the mid-term elections on 6 November, which might see Democrats unseating Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Mr Trump’s current feedback are in all probability an effort to bolster help amongst his base by cracking down on migration.

The place is the caravan now?

The migrant caravan is making its manner via Guatemala, totally on foot, with a number of of the quickest already at Mexico’s southern border.

Their journey started in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, final week.

Most migrants are carrying few belongings, taking what they’ll carry in backpacks, as they head out on the almost 2,800 mile (four,500km) trek.

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Media captionThe migrant caravan Trump retains referencing

May Trump shut the US-Mexican border?

Hundreds of individuals and items legally cross the US-Mexico border every day.

Whereas Mr Trump has despatched nationwide guard troops to the border earlier than, it’s unclear what he means by shutting it down fully, and whether or not that might have an effect on companies or individuals with official visas.

And in keeping with worldwide regulation, the US can not deport asylum seekers with out first figuring out the validity of their declare.

Below strain from the US to cease the migrants, Mexico has despatched federal police to the border, although they aren’t formally there to cease the caravan.

Mexican officers stated on Wednesday that these with out papers must apply for refugee standing or flip again.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo can be in Mexico this Friday, and US media report that he’ll talk about plans to cease the caravan.

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The group was held on the border by Guatemalan police on Monday for a number of hours

What’s going to occur to the individuals?

The Related Press reviews that many migrants wouldn’t have passports and have been utilizing nationwide ID playing cards, which permit them to journey inside Central America. Mexico, nevertheless, requires a passport at entry.

Human rights teams have criticised the US and Mexican response to the caravan.

Erika Guevara-Rosas of Amnesty Worldwide stated in a press release: “Mexican authorities shouldn’t take a Trump strategy treating individuals like a safety menace.”

“These households deserve dignity and respect to make sure that nobody is illegally returned to conditions the place they might threat critical hurt as a result of violence.”

Mexican president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador plans to supply work visas to Central Individuals when he takes workplace in December.

“It’s a plan that we have now, that anybody who needs to work in Mexico can have a piece visa,” he stated.

Nevertheless, his incoming International Minister, Marcelo Ebrard, stated these and not using a visa must apply for refugee standing.

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A Honduran migrant, a part of a caravan making an attempt to achieve the US, and her daughter at a migrant shelter in Guatemala Metropolis

Why are they leaving?

An estimated 10% of the inhabitants of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras have fled hazard, compelled gang recruitment and dismal financial alternatives.

The area has one of many highest homicide charges on the earth. The UN reported homicide charges in 2015 in Honduras standing at 63.75 deaths per 100,000 and El Salvador at 108.64 deaths.

Jari Dixon, an opposition politician in Honduras, tweeted on Monday that the caravan was not “looking for the American dream” however “fleeing the Honduras nightmare”.


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