Trump appears to threaten USMCA deal when lashing out at migrant caravan

Elias Hubbard
October 18, 2018

President Trump said on Twitter that he will do everything in his power to put a stop to the caravan of thousands of migrants on their way to the Southern border, including using military power, if Mexico doesn't stop them.

The caravan of about 4,000 people from Central America were nearing the Mexico-Guatemala border.

Trump threatened to stop all federal payments to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador if the countries failed to block the flow and blamed Democrats for rejecting a reform of immigration laws allowing them to claim asylum. The president has said repeatedly that he thinks immigration should be a top issue on the campaign trail, as Republicans are fighting hard for control of the House and Senate.

The president's warning echoes an earlier tweet on Wednesday, in which he again blasted Democrats for refusing to approve tighter border control and immigration laws.

In another, he suggested that the "onslaught" of immigrants could threaten a recently announced reworked trade deal with Mexico and Canada, writing that immigration is "far more important to me, as President, than Trade".

The group of would-be immigrants, which has now grown to as many as 4,000 people, left Honduras and plans to head through Mexico toward the United States border, infuriating Trump. "Hopefully Mexico will stop this onslaught at their Northern Border".

Mexico's government says migrants with proper documents can enter and those who don't either have to apply for refugee status or face deportation.

The row comes as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo prepares to embark on a tour of the region that will see him visit Mexico ahead of its December inauguration of President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, as well as Panama.

While Trump did not make clear what a military deployment at the border might look like, the president did deploy nearly 4,000 National Guard troops to the border in April, as the first caravan approached. Dwindling in numbers along the way, the caravan totalled around 150 migrants by the time it reached Tijuana, at the U.S. border.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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