Migrant caravan masses on Guatemala-Mexico border awaiting confrontation with Mexican police

Migrant caravan masses on Guatemala-Mexico border awaiting confrontation with Mexican police

Honduran migrants rush across the border towards Mexico, in Tecun Uman, Guatemala, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018.

The Mexican government has said any migrant who decides to cross illegally will be detained and deported.

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.

Military officials instructed troops to alert border agents if they encountered migrants, rather than intervene themselves, except in cases of self-defense.

President Donald Trump threatened on Thursday to deploy the military and close the southern U.S. border if Mexico does not halt a caravan of Central America migrants heading north, raising the risk of huge disruptions to trade.

Three weeks before USA midterm elections, Trump has seized on the caravan as a political victor for Republicans.

The caravan arrived at the border in southern Mexico on Thursday but turned around Friday, the Associated Press reported.

Last year, the USA gave Honduras some £138.92million ($181m) in aid to finance security, anti-drug trafficking and poverty reduction programmes, according to the Washington Office for Latin America.

Guatemala also sent police reinforcements to its side of the border, after Trump threatened to cut aid to the region, deploy the military and close the US-Mexican border if the migrants were allowed to continue.

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Trump has made migrant caravans a symbol of all that is wrong with US immigration policies.

Mexican officials had said people seeking asylum would be processed at the border.

Mexico's ambassador to Guatemala says his country has chose to enforce a policy of "metered entry" since thousands of migrants are clamoring to cross.

Late on Thursday night, a small number of the Honduran group who broke off from the main crowd were able to successfully cross over into Mexico. He has long pushed economic development as a way to keep people from migrating, and on Wednesday he reached out again.

"If that doesn't work out, we're calling up the military -not the (National) Guard - we're calling up the military", he told reporters. "Anyone who wants to work in our country will have help, will have a work visa", he pledged. Numerous migrants may chose to stay in countries along the route, though the Mexican government is already preparing a response.

Trump also said that if a solution is not found, it could upend the new trade deal negotiated between Mexico and the United States.

Participants in a 3,000-strong migrant caravan heading toward the United States have gathered in a park to wait a few more hours for members of the group who are still arriving.

"Speaking in Scottsdale, Arizona, yesterday Mr Trump said he" appreciated very much" Mexico's efforts to stop the caravan.

Juan Escobar, 24, said he had heard about Trump's comments but said they would not dissuade the migrants from continuing their journey. Trump said in one tweet. Locals said they had been warned by Mexican authorities not to carry people.

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