Some 1,500 Latin Americans are marching in a caravan from Central America through Mexico to the United States, where they plan to demand asylum.
When the caravan crossed the Mexican-Guatemalan border, group leaders praised Mexican officials for stepping aside. “Refugee Caravan knocking down borders yesterday in Huehuetan! Immigration agents abandoned the post when they knew we were coming. The people celebrated this first little victory!” they said on Facebook.
But that’s not really what happened, at least according to CNN.
“In its statement, the Mexican Foreign Ministry said the caravan is mainly made up of people from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador and that around 400 caravan participants who did not enter the country of Mexico lawfully had been repatriated to their countries of origin ‘with the strict legal framework,’ ” the liberal network reported.
“Under no circumstance does the government of Mexico promote illegal migration,” it said.
The ministry said the circumstances of the caravan differed from those of previous years in that “the Mexican immigration authorities have proceeded to offer refuge in some cases, as well as other necessary protective measures.”
Mexico “does not make immigration decisions for the United States or any other nation,” the statement said, adding that the respective authorities “will decide whether to authorize or not the entry of those who are part of the caravan.”
President Trump, however, notes that Mexico does make decisions that affect the U.S.
“Mexico is doing very little, if not NOTHING, at stopping people from flowing into Mexico through their Southern Border, and then into the U.S. They laugh at our dumb immigration laws. They must stop the big drug and people flows, or I will stop their cash cow, NAFTA. NEED WALL!,” Trump tweeted on Sunday.
“Mexico has the absolute power not to let these large ‘Caravans’ of people enter their country. They must stop them at their Northern Border, which they can do because their border laws work, not allow them to pass through into our country, which has no effective border laws,” he said on Twitter on Monday. “Mexico is making a fortune on NAFTA…They have very strong border laws – ours are pathetic.”
The caravan set off on March 25 for a 1,900-mile trek and is expected to hit the U.S.-Mexico border by the end of the week.