U.S. border agents are accompanying 3500 Central-American migrants as they make their way from Guatemala to the United States through Mexico.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is saying that the migrants are welcome in his country.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said his government was monitoring the situation as the migrants approached, saying there were 4,000 jobs available on the southern border, as well as shelters and medical help.
“We are keeping an eye on everything,” Lopez Obrador said during a regular press conference.
Lopez Obrador did not say if Mexico would seek to keep the migrants in the southern part of the country. Most Central Americans who leave their countries escaping poverty and violence are eager to make their way towards the United States.
The groups of migrants are expected to meet up at the border with Mexico and then travel north to the U.S. southern border.
Guatemala’s new President, Alejandro Giammattei, may or may not honor his country’s agreement with the U.S. to limit the number of asylum applicants coming to the U.S. He said he would be reviewing the text of migration agreements made with the United States.
Mexico’s deal with the U.S. is still in force and the government intends to honor it.
The country’s interior ministry said it would not grant tourist visas and would check the status of each migrant, but would welcome those interested in staying there.
“Mexico is not only a transit country… In no way we have transit visas or safe passage,” said Mexico’s Interior Minister Olga Sánchez Cordero, who warned that the migrants would be met by special operations and immigration agents, the BBC reported.
She told journalists that an estimated 600 migrants had left Honduras on Wednesday. Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei said Mexico Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard told him that Mexico will not let a migrant caravan pass and would “do everything in their powers to stop the group.”
At the very least, the regional approach that Donald Trump has taken to address the problem has discouraged people from thinking they could arrive in the U.S. and be cared for. They are just as likely to be sent to Honduras or stay in Mexico until they can be fairly heard by an immigration judge. There must be order to any immigration system and Trump has brought it. This hasn’t sat well with advocates for illegal immigrants and refugees, but that attitude is short-sighted. Strong measures needed to be taken to address the massive humanitarian crisis.
It wasn’t a perfect response, but given Trump’s opponents’ inability to offer any alternatives, it was probably the best course of action available.