Published: Fri, October 19, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Mexico deploys hundreds of riot police as migrants near

Mexico deploys hundreds of riot police as migrants near

President Trump doubled-down on his demands that Central American nations block the growing "migrant caravan" before it reaches the United States' southern border Thursday; saying he may "call up the military" to stem the escalating crisis.

Trump, who campaigned for president with vows to stop illegal immigration, said on Twitter today that he thinks Republican candidates for Congress should campaign on the issue in the upcoming midterm elections.

He even threatened that the migrant issue could undermine the recently re-worked trade deal between the US, Mexico and Canada.

Lieutenant Colonel Jamie Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said that while National Guard troops were now supporting the Department of Homeland Security on the U.S. southern border, the Pentagon had not been tasked to provide additional support.

Hundreds of federal police in riot gear fanned out on the global bridge in Suchiate, on the Mexican-Guatemalan border, as the caravan of several thousand Honduran migrants trekked toward the crossing.

Mexico's government says migrants with proper documents can enter Mexico and those who don't either have to apply for refugee status or face deportation.

He said he had spoken with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez about ensuring the migrants who want to return home can do so safely.

Shelters and churches along the border have been flooded as a result of the surge as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have been releasing hundreds of migrants from detention at a time.

Trump has made security on the southern border one of the signature issues of his two-year presidency, calling for a "wall" and frequently railing against what he describes as a flood of rapists, gangs and "bad hombres".

Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who takes office on December 1, wants to avoid repression against migrants and also avoid angering the United States.

Trump's threats over immigration came a day before Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is due to travel to Mexico City for meetings with Mexican leaders.

Nevertheless, it's hard to make a rational case for why our government should regard Central American migrants as a threat to the safety and material well-being of the American people. The migrants have begun arriving at the Guatemalan side of the Mexican border.

"We hope that in this big caravan group, they let us in", he added, referring to the United States.

Their journey began in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, last week.

Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico's foreign minister-designate, downplayed Trump's comments as aimed at his domestic political base. "We are certainly looking for concrete results and for solutions that work for both countries".

Mexico in a statement Wednesday said that anyone who entered its country illegally would be processed and returned to their country of origin.

"Just today, the Mexican government, and this is a very important step, requested the intervention of the United Nations, the Office of the High Commissioner on Refugees, to help Mexico review any asylum claims from the members of the caravan", Gutierrez said.

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