Thousands of migrants from various countries in Central America forged on over the weekend, with numbers growing to more than 7,000 despite threats from President Donald Trump that he’d dispatch the military should they reach the U.S. border.
The fleet is composed mainly of individuals seeking jobs that aren’t available in their home countries or trying to find safety from drug and gang violence, but for a number of them, this wasn’t their first time trying to reach the U.S.
“That’s just how it is,” Fuentes said. “They catch you, and you try to get back.”
Trump blamed Democrats Monday for what he called Sunday an “onslaught of illegal aliens crossing our Southern Border.”
“Every time you see a Caravan, or people illegally coming, or attempting to come, into our Country illegally, think of and blame the Democrats for not giving us the votes to change our pathetic Immigration Laws!” Trump wrote, threatening again to cut funding from the countries the mass is coming from.
Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the U.S. We will now begin cutting off, or substantially reducing, the massive foreign aid routinely given to them.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 22, 2018
“Sadly, it looks like Mexico’s Police and Military are unable to stop the Caravan heading to the Southern Border of the United States. Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in,” Trump added.
“I have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National Emergy [emergency].”
The Mexican government also warned the migrants about the “grave risks” they could face should they enter Mexico illegally, USA Today reported, specifically of violence and human trafficking organizations.
A Red Cross official overseeing parts of the voyage, Ulises Garcia, said injured migrants are refusing to seek medical help because they don’t want to leave the caravan and risk getting left behind.
— Ana Cabrera (@AnaCabrera) October 21, 2018
An additional group of about 1,000 Hondurans joined the mix of mostly Guatemalans and Nicaraguans over the weekend, despite Trump’s warnings.
“When I heard about the caravan, I knew it was my chance,” Job Reyes, 36, who said he had spent most of his childhood years in Los Angeles before his visa expired six years ago, told WaPo. (RELATED: AP Changes Headline After Liberals Complain About Describing Illegal Caravan As ‘Army Of Migrants’)
As the numbers grow, Mexican officials have been more lenient in enforcing the approaching migrants to apply for asylum, and many migrants have also refused to apply over fear it will lead to their deportation before they reach the U.S. border.
The excitement, as well as desperation, of the massive fleet has also grown as it gets closer to the border.
“We are going to get to the border of the U.S.,” Luis Puerto, 39, of Colon, Honduras, told USA Today.
“I am not going to stop. I don’t care if I die.”
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