President Donald Trump has Central American countries desperately scrambling to stop a caravan of illegal immigrants moving steadily toward the United States after Trump threatened to stop giving them aid if they refuse to stop it.
On Tuesday, Trump explained on Twitter that El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, where the caravan originated, would lose payments from the United States if they refused to take action on their borders.
“We have today informed the countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador that if they allow their citizens, or others, to journey through their borders and up to the United States, with the intention of entering our country illegally, all payments made to them will STOP,” Trump wrote.
We have today informed the countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador that if they allow their citizens, or others, to journey through their borders and up to the United States, with the intention of entering our country illegally, all payments made to them will STOP (END)!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2018
Trump is referring to the huge caravan of immigrants heading toward Mexico and the United States.
By Wednesday, the “caravan” had grown to the size of 4,000 people, according to NBC.
But Trump’s statement was apparently enough to get the Central American countries’ attention, as it looks like Guatemalan and Honduran police have been sending people back.
Not only that, but Guatemalan police took one of the organizers of the caravan, Bartolo Fuentes, into custody along with three associates, according to Reuters.
Honduran riot police were deployed to the Guatemala border to stop more people joining a caravan of migrants and asylum seekers. They are headed to the U.S.-Mexico border to escape inequality and violence in Honduras, where 66% of people live in poverty. pic.twitter.com/cleR2movqs
— AJ+ (@ajplus) October 17, 2018
The bad news is that the officers on the Honduran border with Guatemala have been unsuccessful in stopping everyone.
“We can’t attend to people en masse. People are going through one by one,” Honduran police spokesman Alex Madrid said.
The Mexican government is even trying to chip in by sending 500 Mexican federal police to its border with Guatemala, according to NBC.
On Thursday morning, Trump issued a Twitter post to make his position even clearer.
Amid the tension, the illegal immigrants have been trying to justify illegally entering foreign countries.
“These people are fleeing. These people are not tourists,” the arrested organizer, Fuentes, said.
Nobody ever thought they were tourists, Fuentes. Everybody recognizes the caravan for what it is. It’s a giant group of thousands of people who want to break the laws of the United States by entering the country illegally. That’s the definition of starting off on the wrong foot.
However, a lot of this may be avoided with Trump’s tough stance on illegal immigration and Central American governments scrambling to stop the caravan.
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