Honduran migrant caravan arrives in Mexico amidst U.S. threats

The Mexican government has committed to protect the 3,000 Honduran migrants on their way to the U.S.
Honduran migrant caravan arrives in Mexico amidst U.S. threats
SRE and SEGOB stated that migration policies respond to the government’s commitment to prevent migrants from “falling victim to human trafficking networks and human rights violations” - Photo: Jorge Alberto Mendoza/EL UNIVERSAL
18/10/2018
16:26
Newsroom
Mexico City
Ariadna García, Misael Zavala, José Meléndez, Alejandra Canchola, and Víctor Sancho (EL UNIVERSAL)
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The government of Mexico has warned the Honduran caravan that, should they enter the national territory “through illegal means,” migrants will be subject to arrest and deportation. In the meantime, more than 200 elements of Federal Police were deployed in Tapachula, Chiapas yesterday to guard the border with Guatemala.

For his part, President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador has promised that his government will give out work visas to Central American migrants.

In a joint statement, the ministries of Interior (SEGOB) and Foreign Affairs (SRE) claimed that, in compliance with the present legislation, “every individual that enters the country through illegal means will be arrested and subject to administrative proceedings and, if necessary, will be deported to their country of origin.”

Last Saturday, more than 3 thousand Honduran migrants began their exodus towards the north of the continent. A first group arrived in the Migrants House of the San Marcos diocese in Tecún Umán, Guatemala, near the border with Mexico. Their plan is to cross the Mexican territory all the way to the U.S. border, where they plan to seek asylum. The group consists of men, women, and entire families with small children; the main group advances slowly by foot, while other groups have taken the lead riding on buses.

Mexico’s public institutions have indicated that whoever intends to enter the Mexican territory needs to “have proper documentation and a visa granted by the government.” They added that whoever wishes to apply for refugee status or gain benefits with complementary protection measures should do so individually.

SRE and SEGOB stated that migration policies respond to the government’s commitment to prevent migrants from “falling victim to human trafficking networks and human rights violations.”

Meanwhile, more than 200 elements from the Federal Police carrying riot control equipment arrived yesterday in Tapachula, Chiapas, to lend their support to the National Institute of Migration (INM) in face of the imminent arrival of Honduran migrants.

In accordance with the law, SRE and SEGOB have stated that migrants will have up to 45 working days (with the possibility of renewal), to formalize their applications. During said period, they will remain in a facility under the management of INM.
 

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AMLO to grant work visas

President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador has made a commitment to grant work visas to Central American migrants looking for employment in Mexico once he takes office. After a meeting with the governor of Tamaulipas, Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca, the President-elect claimed that the measure is meant to stem illegal migration.

“As of December 1, we will give employment to central-Americans by granting work visas. We will tackle the problem of illegal migration by giving options and alternatives to migrants, and not just deportations.

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Photo: Yadin Xolalpa/EL UNIVERSAL

López Obrador reminded the press that he hoped to reach a joint agreement with the U.S. government to implement a development plan in Central America and directly address the issue of the migration phenomenon, giving options to those leaving their homes in search of employment.

In the same vein, Marcelo Ebrard, appointed by López Obrador to become secretary of Foreign Affairs, met with government officials from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala yesterday in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. During the meeting, they agreed to define a comprehensive mechanism to tackle the flow of Central Americans coming out of their countries through illegal means, aiming towards “an optional and not compulsory” migration.

For his part, the chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), Luis Raúl González Pérez, claimed that the Mexican government should remain consistent regarding migration in order to guarantee the human rights of migrants, specially women and children.

U.S. President Trump rants against Mexicans, Central Americans, and Democrats

However, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, demanded Mexico to stop the group of Central-American migrants from reaching the country’s northern border. Furthermore, he threatened to send the U.S. Military and formally close the U.S.-Mexico border if necessary.

This morning, as part of one of his long rants on Twitter, the U.S. President said he expected Mexico to “stop this onslaught” of immigrants, some of which he deemed as “criminals.” “If unable to do so, I will call up the U.S. Military and close our southern border!” he threatened.

This Friday, U.S. State Secretary Mike Pompeo will travel to Mexico City in order to meet with members of Mexico’s outgoing and incoming governments. One of the main subjects to be discussed during the talks will be the call for Mexico to stop the flow of Central American migrants.

Trump also blamed the governments of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador of “doing little to stop this large flow of people.” With that in mind, he reiterated his government’s threat to cut all financial aid to the Central American countries.

As usual, the U.S. President took advantage of the migrants’ humanitarian crisis for campaigning 20 days away from the legislative elections. Placing the migratory issue at the center of the North-American country’s political debate, he concluded that the democrats were to blame for the arrival of migrants to the United States, accusing them of “leading the assault” by the migrants. He also accused the democrats of promoting “weak laws” and wanting to open the border for Central American immigrants.
 

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