The United Nations Refugee Agency is demanding that President Trump allow thousands of migrants who are marching toward the U.S.-Mexican border into the United States, saying they are "fleeing persecution and violence" in their home countries.
As many as 14,000 migrants from Central American countries have been marching for weeks toward the U.S. border and are expected to reach their destination in the next few weeks. Trump has vehemently opposed the march, warning Central American countries that they could lose U.S. aid if they do nothing.
But the U.N., which is aiding the caravan by putting 50 workers within the group made up mostly of young men, now says the U.S. must admit them.
In an interview with Voice of America, Andrej Mahecic, a spokesman for the UN Refugee Agency, said:
Our position globally is that the individuals who are fleeing persecution and violence need to be given access to territory and protection including refugee status and determination procedure. And, if the people who are fleeing persecution and violence enter Mexico, they need to be provided access to the Mexican asylum system and those entering the United States need to be provided access to the American asylum system.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon is deploying more than 5,000 active-duty Army troops to the southern border. "Border security is national security," Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, head of U.S. Northern Command, told reporters Monday.
The general said the 5,200 soldiers will aid the 2,100 National Guard personnel already deployed on the border.
Reports of violence have been emerging from Mexico, with new reports that a second and even third caravan are also on their way to the U.S. border. A group of Central American migrants who were reportedly facing deportation set fire to a Mexican immigration facility,Televisa Noticias reported. Mexican authorities have also reported the use of firearms and Molotov cocktails within the migrant caravans.
Actor James Woods posted a video on Twitter that shows a violent group of men ripping down a barricade.
And Trump also warned that the caravan must be stopped, writing on Twitter on Wednesday: "The Caravans are made up of some very tough fighters and people. Fought back hard and viciously against Mexico at Northern Border before breaking through. Mexican soldiers hurt, were unable, or unwilling to stop Caravan. Should stop them before they reach our Border, but won’t!"
Trump also said: "Our military is being mobilized at the Southern Border. Many more troops coming. We will NOT let these Caravans, which are also made up of some very bad thugs and gang members, into the U.S. Our Border is sacred, must come in legally. TURN AROUND!"