(UPDATE 10/19/2018: Since the publication of this piece migrants tore down part of a gate and entered Mexico, several thousand may have gotten through before the gate was closed again.)
Roughly 4,000 migrants have marched North towards Mexico, hoping to move through there and gain entrance to the United States, despite warnings from President Trump that he would deploy the United States military to enforce the border and that he would withhold billions of foreign aid from Honduras.
Thousands of migrants traveling in a caravan briefly moved toward a border crossing on the Mexico-Guatemala frontier before turning around, according to reports from the Associated Press.
The disorganized crowd chanted, “one way or another, we will pass” and “we are not smugglers, we are immigrants,” as they moved closer toward the border bridge.
The bridge is being heavily guarded by hundreds of Mexican federal police and Guatemalan police in riot gear, as well as tall metal gates.
Guatemala has closed its border gate and is standing guard with dozens of troops and two armored jeeps.
Mexico’s ambassador to Guatemala says his country has decided to enforce a policy of “metered entry” since thousands of migrants are clamoring to cross.
USA Today reports that Mexico is taking the crisis seriously while also trying to be compassionate. The Mexican government has claimed that those migrants whose applications for asylum are rejected will be deported back to Honduras or whatever neighboring country they hailed from. Gerónimo Gutiérrez, the Ambassador of Mexico to the U.S., told Fox News’ “Special Report” during an interview this past Thursday,
“We want to make sure that [claims for asylum] are legitimate... We obviously are sensitive to the humanitarian situation that we encounter... But we have also made very clear that there is no legal ground on which Mexico can issue a permit by which people can just go through Mexico towards the United States.”
“Mexico is in favor of legal, safe and orderly migration,” he added. “And the step we took today, it’s extremely important.”