Trump threatens to close border to Mexico

Marsha Scott
October 20, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump appeared to threaten the newly minted Canada-U.S. - Mexico trade deal over a caravan of Honduran migrants trying to reach his country.

Trump also threatened to upend a pending trade deal with Mexico that took more than a year to negotiate and is created to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.

After a week of walking and hitching rides across Central America, the first members of a 3,000-strong caravan of migrants were preparing on Friday morning to cross the Suchiate river into Mexico - despite threats of retaliation from Donald Trump.

Changes to detention rules saw thousands of migrant children detained and separated from their parents earlier this year, sparking national and worldwide condemnation.

In April, Trump said that he wanted to deploy more U.S. troops on the border until the completion of his planned wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

But in Mexico, where protesters alreadyhave been marching in support of the approaching Honduran migrants, caving to USA pressure wouldn't play almost as well.

"The journey has been very tough, very hard but there's no work in Honduras", said 20-year-old Glenda Salvador, a mother of two toddlers and one of the multitude of Hondurans gathering in a Tecun Uman park close to the bridge crossing from Guatemala to Mexico.

A deal emerged Thursday night between the United States and Mexico to avert an approaching crisis triggered by the second caravan of illegal immigrants of 2018 heading toward the United States.

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

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The caravan caused the Mexican government to announce it would enforce immigration laws and turn back those who did not obtain a visa to travel through country.

Several thousand Honduran migrants seeking to escape violence and poverty moved through Guatemala on the way to Mexico, with some hoping to enter the United States.

Migrants who have already arrived at the Mexican border have been sleeping in churches, fire stations and refugee shelters.

Cristian, a 34-year-old cell phone repairman from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, says he wants to reach the work. López Obrador, the president-elect, will take over December 1.

Tension was palpable in Ciudad Hidalgo, a tiny tropical village in Mexico surrounded by rain forest and banana plantations that borders Tecun Uman in Guatemala, with the two towns separated by a muddy river.

He added, "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".

"We have evidence that this caravan is also very much politically motivated", he claimed.

Mexican authorities, in a bid to soothe Mr Trump's fury and to deter the migrants, without appearing to violate worldwide law, have asked the United Nations to set up a migrant processing centre near its southern border.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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