New Guatemalan President Vows to Halt 3,000 Migrants Traveling To the U.S. - But Migrants Say They Won't Be Stopped

Brittany M. Hughes | January 17, 2020
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A new migrant caravan is heading to the U.S. via Central America, having recently crossed into Guatemala despite the Trump administration’s efforts to stem the flow.

Yahoo! News reports Guatemalan officials, working with U.S. assistance, say some 2,200 people have crossed into the country from Honduras through immigration checkpoints on their way to Mexico and, ultimately, to the United States. But hundreds more have entered unlawfully, leading immigration officials to believe as many as 3,000 people are currently moving through Guatemala toward Mexico.

Yahoo! reports, via the AFP:

More than 1,000 Honduran migrants broke through a police barrier on the border with Guatemala on Thursday in a bid to join hundreds of others heading for the United States.

The migrants, many fleeing poverty and gang violence at home, passed through a police cordon without difficulty and without going through migration protocol at the southeastern city of Agua Caliente, according to an AFP photographer at the scene.

As usual, migrants with this most recent caravan cited gang violence, poverty and unemployment has reasons why they’ve embarked on the dangerous journey to the United States.

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei, sworn in only this past week, has vowed this new migrant group will not be allowed to cross into Mexico, saying he will honor the deal his predecessor signed with the United States that requires migrants from Honduras and El Salvador to apply for asylum in Guatemala rather than in the U.S. Giammattei added his government is working with Mexico to make sure the caravan is stopped.

"The Mexican government told us that they won't let it pass, that they will do everything in their powers to stop it from passing," Giammattei claimed after a meeting with Mexican officials.

Some migrants, however, have vowed they won’t stop until they get to the United States.

“Our desire is to go to the United States to work,” a migrant named Luis Sorto told Reuters. “We want to work, improve our life. We don't want to be stuck in one place. We want to fight, fight for our goals, work. We have family in Honduras that need help."