Trump appears to threaten USMCA deal when lashing out at migrant caravan

Trump appears to threaten USMCA deal when lashing out at migrant caravan

The Mexican government said Thursday that the first migrants in a caravan that has drawn the ire of U.S. President Trump have reached their southern border with Guatemala. The migrants have begun arriving at the Guatemalan side of the Mexican border. Some hope to eventually enter the United States to escape violence and poverty.

Cooperating with the US on strict border policies has been met with a serious backlash in Mexico and contributed to the election of incoming-President Andres Obrador.

"I am certain that there will be conversations in Mexico about how we can work together on this issue", the official said about the caravan. "It's very important to have a relationship of friendship". And those who don't have correct documentation will be turned away at the Mexico border.

Mexico's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it needs the United Nations body's help to manage all the refugee applications. And it is also true that previous migrant flows have already exhausted our government's resources for detaining asylum-seekers and processing their claims (although, this is partly because the Trump administration refuses to expand alternatives to mass detention, largely out of a principled commitment to treating migrants with wanton cruelty).

Three weeks before the USA elections, the caravan was bound to draw Trump's ire.

But foreign minister Videgaray said that was "false" and that no such deal had been made.

Central American migrants hiked from Honduras through muddy jungle and residential streets, some toting babies along with backpacks, Reuters images show.

In Guatemala City, where migrant shelters filled with people, waves of people departed at daybreak on roads leading to Mexico.

Most migrants are carrying few belongings, taking what they can carry in backpacks, as they head out on the almost 2,800 mile (4,500km) trek.

His comments came as it was reported some 2,000 people had fled Honduras and were making their way north to try and get into the US.

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Image copyright Reuters Image caption A Honduran migrant, part of a caravan trying to reach the United States, and her daughter at a migrant shelter in Guatemala City Why are they leaving?

He has urged the Republicans to make immigration a central issue of important Congressional elections which take place in the USA next month.

Trump's frustration appears to stem in part from record levels of migrant parents entering the United States with children in the three months since his administration ended family separations at the border.

In a series of tweets, Trump blamed Democrats, leaders of Central American countries and "existing weak laws" for the influx.

Yesterday, Trump threatened to cut foreign aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador if they do not stop the caravan. He also suggested that it could jeopardize a revamped trade deal with Mexico and Canada, which is waiting to be signed by each country's leader. Republicans seeking to retain control of the House of Representatives will likely present the migrant caravan as evidence of what they say is a need to further tighten the U.S. -Mexico border.

"We have to secure that border once and for all", McCaul told Fox News.

The caravan started out with several hundreds people in San Pedro Sula, a notoriously violent city in Honduras's northwest. There are no official estimates of the size of the group.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said Wednesday that while Central Americans are legally free to transit from country to country under a regional agreement, a "massive ingress of people without registering" puts Guatemala in a hard position because it's impossible to know who the people are and what may be the intentions of any of their leaders.

Mexico in April pushed back on Trump's threats and rhetoric, with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto saying in a video statement on Twitter that "We're not going to permit that negative rhetoric to define our actions".

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