Caravan of 3,000 migrants prepares to cross from Guatemala to Mexico

Caravan of 3,000 migrants prepares to cross from Guatemala to Mexico

Mexico deployed hundreds of riot police on Thursday (Oct 18) to its border with Guatemala as a caravan of Central American migrants prepared to cross on their way to the United States, defying President Donald Trump's threats.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talks during a press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with Mexico's Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray Caso, not shown, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, in Mexico City.

Trump has made it clear to Mexico that he is monitoring its response.

Some 400 Mexican Federal Police then sealed the Mexico border as drones and helicopters moved overhead of crowds, Weir reported.

Several of the migrants told The New York Times they hoped to pursue a better life for themselves and their families.

Frustrated by Congress' failure to fully fund his proposed wall, Trump in April ordered National Guard personnel to help secure the border in four southwestern us states. Anyone with appropriate travel documents and visas will be let into Mexico, while others will be allowed to apply for refugee status.

Mexico's southern border is notoriously porous and it was unclear how numerous migrants would attempt to cross legally at the bridge. US President Donald Trump has threatened to close the US-Mexico border and call in the military.

Mr Trump had earlier this week threatened to withhold aid to the region as a caravan with several thousand Honduran migrants travelled through Guatemala to Mexico in the hope of crossing into the USA to escape violence and poverty. And requests for asylum will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, a process that can take up to four months.

However, by the end of Thursday, Trump was also thanking Mexico for its efforts to contain the caravan.

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Earlier on Friday, Videgaray said the caravan had close to 4,000 people and that the migrants could individually present their claims to enter Mexico or seek refugee status.

"How they're going to cross is what we're anxious about", he said.

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

"The position of President Trump is the one he has always raised, I do not see him as anything surprising, I would be surprised by a different position", Ebrard told local radio station Radio Centro. That caravan dissipated as it approached the USA border.

But at the bridge migrants, who have formed orderly lines, are refusing to board the buses fearing that they will simply be deported.

Thousands of people and goods legally cross the US-Mexico border daily. During a presidential debate, Lopez Obrador indicated his administration would stop doing "dirty work" for the United States by detaining Central American migrants.

"Honestly, I want to get to the states to contribute to that country, to do any kind of work, picking up garbage", he said.

"Only God on high can stop us", Escobar said.

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