An immigration enforcement advocate is encouraged by the efforts being made to stop a caravan of migrants from reaching the United States illegally.
The Honduran government has called on the 2,000-person caravan to give up its trek north and return home.
President Donald Trump has threatened to withhold $65 million in aid if Honduran leaders do not find a way to stop the caravan – which has already reached Guatemala.
WASHINGTON (October 18, 2018) — President Donald Trump is lashing out over the caravan of Central American migrants trying to reach the United States, saying that if Mexico does not stop the effort, he will use the military to "CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER."
Trump tweeted Thursday that he wanted "Mexico to stop this onslaught." He also appeared to threaten a revamped trade deal with Mexico and Canada.
Trump did not detail his military threat. Earlier this year, some National Guard members were deployed to the border on a limited mission that does not include contact with migrants.
More than 2,000 Hondurans are in a migrant caravan trying to reach the United States.
Mexico's government says migrants with proper documents can enter and those who don’t either have to apply for refugee status or face deportation.
- Associated Press
Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) Director of Public Studies Jessica Vaughan – who formerly served as a foreign service officer with the U.S. State Department – commended the president for continuing to be tough on immigration.
"I think it's a good move for President Trump to have made the statements he's made – that our relationship is going to be affected in a bad way,” the immigration expert expressed. “But I'm not sure there's much the Honduran government can do. It evokes an image of East Germany – with the country trying to force people to stay home. I don't think you can prevent people from leaving if they want to."
Vaughan also pointed out that Guatemala has already caved into the caravan, but she is encouraged that Mexico has deployed officers to its southern border.
"They're saying all the right things now, and they're behaving more responsibly than they did in the spring when the earlier caravan came through and they actually issued them transit visas to continue to the United States,” she explained. “They seem to be responding to the statements of President Trump and our indications that our relationship is in trouble if they don't behave like good neighbors."
Vaughan stressed that it is a good sign that Mexico is realizing that it has more to gain than lose by cooperating with the U.S. on border enforcement.