The migrant caravan heading to the United States from Central America entered Mexico on Oct. 21, and has been moving northward as thousands more migrants have joined the group on their journey. Meanwhile, American flags were burned in Honduras in support of the caravan while U.S. President Donald Trump followed through on a threat and cut aid to Central American countries.
Refusing to wait at the Guatemala-Mexico border and proceed orderly as requested by Mexican authorities, the group broke through the border and has continued toward America’s southern border.
By Oct. 22, they had reached Tapachula, almost 2,000 miles (3,135 kilometers) from the U.S. border.
The group had swelled to roughly 7,000 by Monday, stretching more than 2 miles, reported Los Angeles Times. That was 2,000 more than just a day prior.
Another group of 1,000 entered Guatemala from Honduras on Sunday, rushing north trying to catch up to the caravan and some 1,000 or more were at the Guatemala-Mexico border trying to pass through.
Migrants have received help along the way, receiving donated water, food, and clothing. Locals driving pickups, vans, and cargo trucks have also given them rides, as they did on Oct. 21.
The caravan included people who have been deported from the United States for being there illegally or possibly for committing other crimes.
“It’s time for me to go back to the United States. It’s a country where I can live my life, unlike Guatemala,” Job Reyes, 36, told the Washington Post.
“That’s just how it is,” added Imner Anthony Fuentes, 29. “They catch you, and you try to get back.”
Ramon Izaguirre, 20, was deported just a month ago.
“All my life is there, waiting for me,” he told the Times. “I miss my Playstation. I miss Buffalo Wild Wings. I miss my car.”
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
Trump Cuts Aid
President Donald Trump and his administration have threatened to cut aid if the caravan wasn’t stopped, and he said on Monday that he will make good on the threat.
“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,” he said on Twitter.
The three countries received more than $500 million combined in funding from the United States in the fiscal year 2017.
He said that the immigration laws in the United States need to change and blamed the Democrats for not voting to change them.
“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. I have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National Emergy [sic]. Must change laws!” he said.
“Remember the Midterms! So unfair to those who come in legally,” Trump said.
Mexico’s president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who takes office Dec. 1, said the United States should welcome all migrants. And said on Sunday that the United States, Mexico, and Canada should invest in Central America and southern Mexico.
“He who leaves his town does not leave for pleasure but out of necessity,” he said.
Burning American Flag
Critics of the caravan have noted that the flags seen among the group include Honduran and Guatemalan flags, but no American flags.
Back in Honduras, meanwhile, multiple American flags were set on fire by people apparently “protesting in favor” of the caravan at the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa.
The flag had also been painted with a swastika.
Another picture from the BBC appeared to show a second American flag burning. Other photos showed the group burning tires and holding Honduran flags.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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