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Migrants prepare to cross Guatemala-Mexico border

Migrants prepare to cross Guatemala-Mexico border”

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence issued strong warnings to Central American countries which allow migrants to leave and try to illegally enter the United States.

This appears to be a shift from previous policies, in which humanitarian or transit visas were issued, and migrants were given the option of continuing their journey north if they didn't want to seek asylum in Mexico.

He also said he aid could be cut to countries allowing the caravan to pass.

This includes a visit to Mexico ahead of its December inauguration of President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

A first group of several hundred migrants arrived late on Wednesday in the border town of Tecun Uman, Guatemala, where they overflowed a local shelter, leaving many to sleep in the town square or on the street, an AFP correspondent said.

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

The news comes as families entering the U.S. illegally have reached a record high, prompting a demand from President Donald Trump that Central American countries and Mexico take steps to correct the situation immediately.

Pompeo is now expected to travel to Mexico to meet with President Enrique Pena Nieto, where the two will reportedly discuss potential solutions to the migrant crisis, narcotics and terrorism.

A caravan of vehicles carrying more than 2,000 migrants left last Saturday from the northern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula after organizing themselves on social media.

The thousands of Hondurans are making their way through Guatemala, headed toward Mexico and, if they're allowed through, plan to head onward to the US, as the contentious midterm elections approach November 6.

Their objective now is to regroup and press on towards the border with Mexico.

The caravan of about 4,000 people from Central America were nearing the Mexico-Guatemala border.

Why don't they stop these people before they get to Mexico?

In recent days Mexican authorities have made a point of showing they were stepping up security near the country's southern border.

"They should be ashamed for pushing an open borders agenda and are only doing this for strictly political reasons", she said in a statement. López Obrador, the president-elect, will take over December 1.

In 2017, the United States sent about $530 million in aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.

But as Trump said at a rally on Thursday that the midterm elections would hinge in part on the caravan, it was clear that USA pressure on Mexico to stem the tide of the migrants would continue.

Last year, the United States 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.



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