Donald Trump calls in military over migrant march

Larry Hoffman
October 23, 2018

- The caravan of Central American migrants moving through Mexico toward the USA border has bloomed to more than 7,000 people.

Seeking to enthuse his support base two weeks before the midterm elections by highlighting the immigration issue, he wrote on Twitter that "criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in" with the migrants, who say they are fleeing violence in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

But according to at least one estimate, upward of 7,000 migrants, including families with infants and the elderly, are now tramping north through the sweltering heat of Mexico's Chiapas state, just north of the Guatemalan border.

Regarding the incident as a "national emergency", Trump said in another tweet that he had alerted the U.S. Border Patrol and Military as "it looks like Mexico's Police and Military are unable to stop the Caravan heading to the Southern Border of the United States".

Trump also claimed on Monday morning that "Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in" the caravan, prompting him to alert Border Patrol and the USA military that "this is a National Emergy".

Migrants told CNN they can not and will not turn around.

She had already been walking for 13 days, with a friend and her baby. Dozens of Central American migrants have been kidnapped by gangs demanding money or shaken down by police.

"We are well aware that this country (Mexico) didn't receive us as we expected, and they can return us to Honduras, and we also know there are drug traffickers who kidnap and kill migrants", said Juan Flores, another migrant.

Rights activists accused Mexico of mistreating the migrants. Officers had instructions to keep watch over the caravan and help the national migration agency, Navarrete said.

As Trump has tweeted his criticisms, the caravan has continued to grow.

Mexican authorities had previously outlined they planned to allow anyone with a valid visa to enter and move freely, while anyone who enters the country through "an irregular manner" would 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.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, however, denounced the "apparent political motivation of some organizers of the caravan".

José Anibal Rivera, 52, an unemployed Honduran security guard from San Pedro Sula crossed into Mexico by raft Sunday and walked up to Tapachula from Ciudad Hidalgo to join the caravan.

Numerous migrants are fleeing poverty and insecurity in Honduras, where powerful street gangs rule their turf with brutal violence.

"No one is capable of organizing this many people".

Last year, he also threatened to cut foreign aid to United Nations member states that voted to condemn the US for moving its embassy in Israel to the disputed city of Jerusalem.

It went from $750 million in 2016 to $655 million last year, and is on track to fall to $615 million this year, according to the Washington Office on Latin America.

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