The invader “caravan” in Mexico—comprised mainly of Hondurans trying to force their way into America—is being stopped and dispersed by Mexican authorities after a series of threats by US president Donald Trump which included the withdrawal of US aid to Honduras, the deployment of the military to the US-Mexico border, and withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
According to a report on Al Jazeera, the Mexican government has announced it will disperse the invasion caravan. “”They cannot continue travelling illegally. You cannot negotiate with the law,” JO Rodriguez, federal representative in Oaxaca of Mexico’s National Migration Institute, that news outlet.
The government said it would issue one-year humanitarian visas to the most vulnerable, allow others to submit applications within the month to stay in Mexico, and request that the rest exit the country within 20 days.
Trump had “repeated threats to torpedo the North American Free Trade Agreement, which underpins much of Mexico’s foreign trade,” and said he wanted to send troops to the U.S. border to stop illegal immigrants until a “long-promised border wall is built.”
In response, the Mexican government has said the invaders are “being vetted to determine whether they have a right to stay or will be returned to their countries of origin”—and that over 400 have already been returned to their home countries.
The report said that “hundreds” of the invaders from Central America “were stuck Tuesday in the town of Matias Romero” in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, “awaiting clarification of their legal status after officials began registering them.”
The Mexican government says the caravan, which like others travels by road, rail and on foot, has been organized every year since 2010 by Hispanics already living in the US, using the “Pueblo Sin Fronteras” front organization, which is based in nonwhite overrun San Francisco in California.
Geronimo Gutierrez, Mexico’s ambassador to the United States, told CNN that Mexican authorities were “looking at the status of the individuals so we can proceed either with a repatriation process” or offer humanitarian relief. That could include granting asylum or humanitarian visas.
Earlier, Trump had also threatened to cut off US foreign aid to Honduras over the invasion caravan, syain that “US aid is in play” because of it.
According to USAID, the US provided more than $127 million to Honduras in 2016, the last year for which complete data is available. $13 million went to “secondary violence prevention activity,” $12 million to in-country counternarcotics program, and $10 million to “justice, human rights, and security strengthening activity.”
Trump also proposed to deploy the US Army along the US-Mexico border until a wall is built there to prevent entry of illegal immigrants into the country.
Trump said he has been discussing the idea with Defence Secretary Jim Mattis. “We are going to be doing things militarily. Until we can have a wall and proper security, we’re going to be guarding our border with the military,” he said, describing the move as a “big step”.
Mexico has received funding from the US for training and equipment for its southern border since 2014, and it collaborated with USAID on a six-month project in 2017 to discourage Central Americans from leaving their countries by improving forensics practices, trade-related transparency, and jobs training. Last year, it deported 80,000 people—the majority of whom were from Central America.