Trump says MS-13, terrorists are part of caravan

Geraldine Edwards
October 23, 2018

Earlier in the day Trump renewed threats against Central American governments and blasted Democrats via Twitter for what he called "pathetic" immigration laws.

After taking office, Trump imposed a travel ban on people from several Muslim-majority nations, saying it was necessary to stop terrorists from entering the country.

By Oct. 22, they had reached Tapachula, nearly 2,000 miles (3,135 kilometers) from the US border.

Concepcion Bautista from Guatemala cradles her newborn son in the same migrant shelter. It was between Mexico and Guatemala.

The combined efforts of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and the US were not enough to deter thousands of migrants who broke through barricades or swam into Mexico over the weekend, defying their home government's calls for them to return and America's warnings that their journey is futile.

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Following the path described in Sonia Nazario's award-winning book "Enrique's Journey," Frankfurter headed to southern Mexico and followed the path north.

"We're urging people against migrating in an unlawful way and putting your children in extremely unsafe conditions", Garcia de Hernandez said in a statement. Honduras receives more than $74 million in American aid per year, according to the USAID, as does El Salvador.

While no specific group has said it's responsible for organizing the current caravan, Pueblo Sin Fronteras, founded in 2010, has led asylum-seeking migrants through Central America for more than 15 years, most recently in April - another caravan that drew ire from Trump.

The current migrant caravan has tested the limits of American patience.

On Oct. 16, Trump had threatened in a tweet to stop sending money to Honduras "if the large Caravan of people heading to the not stopped and brought back to Honduras". "Now, it's better if we travel alone, along new routes". Those are about 650-hour and 600-hour trips respectively from the bridge near Tapachula, Mexico, on foot - that is, more than three weeks long.

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"Passing freight trucks were quickly boarded by dozens of migrants, and straining tuk-tuks carried as many as a half-dozen". Many hitch a ride on trains heading north, a risky undertaking. The number of people applying for asylum in Mexico has soared by more than 150 percent since Trump was elected president.

We have been through this before.

Other activists accused Trump of using the caravan to score political points. "The crisis comes about when US border officials discourage people from political asylum, leave them on the bridges or threaten them that if they go forward with a political asylum claim, they might lose their children".

That group set out in late March, meaning its journey from Honduras took about a month in total.

"Go into the middle of the caravan, take your cameras and search", he told a reporter.

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