Trump Told Mexico to Stop Migrants From Reaching the U.S. So Far, His Plan Is Working
Pressured by President Trump, Mexico beefed up security on its border with Guatemala. We were there as the first migrant caravan of 2020 tried to pass.
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“... dozens of National Guard police.” I’m on the Guatemala-Mexico border. This bridge is the main crossing for migrant caravans on their way to the United States. But this group, which left Honduras in mid-January, is about to hit a barrier. And they’re still over 1,000 miles from the U.S. border. [Shouting] “Mexico shouldn’t allow millions of people to try and enter our country.” Last year, President Trump threatened Mexico with import tariffs, if the country didn’t seal its border with Guatemala. So Mexico deployed a newly formed security force to block migrants from entering. Now this wave of some 4,000 migrants is putting enforcement here to the test. I wanted to see how Mexico would handle the challenge. What I find is a country taking a much harder line on its southern border, in response to U.S. pressure. I witness three attempts by migrants to cross into Mexico, each time, met with increasing force. This attempt ends with Mexican authorities letting small groups through to register with Migration. It’s a legal obligation, and also a way of breaking up the caravan. Once in Mexico, the first thing migrants hear is a warning from the U.S. repeated over a loudspeaker. And then, an offer to send them home. By the end of the day, close to 2,000 migrants have registered to stay in Mexico, many with the goal of someday still reaching the U.S. What they don’t know is that Mexico will end up returning most of them to Honduras. It’s a new day, and more migrants are on the border, undeterred and ready to cross into Mexico. This time, a few petition Mexican authorities on behalf of the group, appealing for compassion to let them continue the caravan. But Mexico doesn’t budge. So the group turns to Plan B. Border security are waiting for them on the other side of the Suchiate River. The standoff ends with the migrants staying put in Guatemala, and waiting for an opportunity to try to cross again. A few days later, with border security nowhere in sight, hundreds of migrants manage to get through, by crossing the river at a different spot, only to be met by dozens of troops who were waiting for them several miles down the road. [Screaming] [Shouting] Some 800 people are rounded up and forced onto buses, soon to be deported. In the face of pressure from all sides, Mexico stopped this group from reaching the U.S. border, giving the Trump administration exactly what it wants.