U.S. President Donald Trump threatened Tuesday to cut aid to three Central American nations if they let people travel to the U.S. illegally, reacting to a caravan of some 2,000 migrants advancing through Guatemala with hopes of reaching the U.S. border.
As many as 2,000 Hondurans fleeing their home country entered Guatemala on Monday, the Associated Press reported, in what is the first step in a journey they hope leads across the US southern border.
Former ICE Director James Homan appeared on Fox News today and argued that if the issue is fleeing violence, the migrants could claim asylum in Mexico (or Guatemala) but the group has already admitted the plan is to get to the United States.
When agents in Guatemala near the Honduran border asked a crowd of them what documentation they were carrying, they held up national personal ID cards, which allow them to move through most countries in Central America - but not Mexico, which requires foreigners to present a passport for entry.
A growing group of more than 1,500 Honduran migrants headed for the United States moved toward the Guatemalan border on Sunday, witnesses and organizers said.
"Republicans must make the horrendous, weak and outdated immigration laws, and the Border, a part of the Midterms!" he continued.
On Tuesday, Honduras' president accused unnamed "political groups" organizing the caravan based on lies in order to cause problems in Honduras.
Earlier Tuesday, Trump had aimed his threat at Honduras.
"Delivered strong message from [the president]: no more aid if caravan is not stopped", he added.
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This caravan's emergence comes almost six months after another caravan consisting largely of Honduran immigrants reached the US-Mexico border.
"The United States has strongly informed the President of Honduras that if the large Caravan of people heading to the USA is not stopped and brought back to Honduras, no more money or aid will be given to Honduras, effective immediately!"
Carlos Cortez, a 32-year-old farmer traveling on foot with his 7-year-old son, said poverty back home made it impossible to support a family.
He was traveling with hordes of men, women and children, packs in hand, walking northward on a Guatemalan highway about 55 miles (89 km) from the border with Honduras.
On Tuesday, Guatemala's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that in response to the situation it would help the migrants now in their country, saying officials would carry out the necessary actions to "identify and document those who came into the country irregularly to the Guatemalan territory in order to regularize their migratory situation" and provide assistance with health, safety and protection.
"We're going to drop in on Donald Trump". Trump threatened to slash foreign aid to the country on at least one other occasion this year because of migrants. "Told him USA will not tolerate this blatant disregard for our border & sovereignty", Pence said.
"Spoke with Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales about caravan heading for the United States and made clear our borders and sovereignty must be maintained".
Since 2014, the United States has committed $2.6 billion in aid for Central America's Northern Triangle region of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
Trump ran for president in 2016 on promises to toughen US immigration policies and build a wall along the 2,000-mile (3,220-km) border with Mexico.