Mexico – Guatemala Border – Thousands of central American migrants traveling in a caravan broke through a border wall in Guatemala on Friday and rushed the Mexican border.
"We are going to the United States!" Edwin Santos shouted as he raced past the officers with his family. "Nobody is going to stop us!"
Police released pepper spray after about 50 migrants managed to push past them, and the others retreated as a federal officer pleaded with the crowd to “stop the aggression” over a loudspeaker.
President Donald Trump threatened to send troops to the U.S. border with Mexico and cancel a trade deal on Thursday if that country doesn’t help stop the caravan of migrants headed to the United States.
U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo was visiting Mexico City on Friday to discuss the caravan with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, as more than 5,000 migrants continued pushing northward, the Los Angeles Times reported.
President Trump was determined not to let the migrant caravan arrive at the border intact.
In April, 1,200 migrants attempted to make the trip but only about 150 arrived at the U.S. - Mexico border, despite the fact the Mexican government issued those people visas to travel through their country, The New York Times reported.
President Trump, furious with Mexico’s actions at the time, ordered National Guard troops to the U.S. southern border, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Early on Thursday morning, the President posted a series of tweets that clearly laid out the ramifications of Mexico handling this larger caravan in the same manner as they did the one in the spring.
“I am watching the Democrat Party led (because they want Open Borders and existing weak laws) assault on our country by Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, whose leaders are doing little to stop this large flow of people, INCLUDING MANY CRIMINALS, from entering Mexico to U.S.,” President Trump tweeted early on Thursday morning.
“In addition to stopping all payments to these countries, which seem to have almost no control over their population, I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught - and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!” he continued in another tweet.
“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 USMCA. Hopefully Mexico will stop this onslaught at their Northern Border,” the President wrote.
Shortly thereafter, videos were released of Mexico sending two federal jetliners filled with riot police to their country’s border with Guatemala.
The Los Angeles Times reported that about 1,500 members of the new caravan have already reached the border of Guatemala and Mexico, where dozens of federal police officers were standing guard along a river that is well-known for illegal entries into Mexico.
The caravan is made up of citizens from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala who are trying to flee the economically depressed and crime-blighted countries.
The origin of the anticipated caravan was even more concerning in light of the Guatemalan president’s recent remarks about catching members of ISIS in their country.
Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales told a gathering of foreign affairs officials from the United States and Latin America on Oct. 11 that "close to 100 people completely linked to terrorist issues, with ISIS and that not only have we arrested them within our territory, but they have been deported to their countries of origin,” Prensa Libre reported.
On Thursday evening, President Trump acknowledged the efforts being made by Mexico to secure its own southern border.
Mexico has said those crossing into their country will have to show a passport or visa, apply for refugee status, or face deportation, The Washington Post reported.
At least 3,000 Honduran more refugees are expected to reach the Guatemala-Mexico border in the next few days.
Mexico has reached out to the United Nations Refugee Agency to help process refugee requests and “contribute to a humanitarian solution,” the Los Angeles Times reported.