President Donald Trump claims Mexico is “unable, or unwilling” to halt the progress of a large migrant caravan heading to the U.S. border from Honduras.
That announcement, writes POLITICO, came hours after Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Mexico is cooperating in impending the caravan’s progress.
According to POLITICO, the White House has ‘continued to lean on’ anti-immigrant messaging in the build-up to midterms. The tactic seems designed to drive the Republican Party’s conservative core to polls.
On Monday, Trump suggested that he’d build “tent cities” to house asylum-seekers. And on Tuesday, the president announced that he’d try to end birthright citizenship, which is encoded in the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment.
Wednesday saw further birthright rhetoric and another series of claims that the migrant caravan is hosting “very bad thugs and gang members.”
Our military is being mobilized at the Southern Border. Many more troops coming. We will NOT let these Caravans, which are also made up of some very bad thugs and gang members, into the U.S. Our Border is sacred, must come in legally. TURN AROUND!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2018
Trump said that migrants “fought back hard and viciously against Mexico at Northern Border before breaking through,” adding that Mexican soldiers may have been injured in the melee.
The “Northern Border” Trump referred to is that of Guatemala, rather than Mexico. Last week, groups of migrants attempting to cross a river checkpoint met with security forces. After some scuffles and illegal crossings, Mexico said that it would allow members of the caravan to enter the country in smaller, segmented groups.
Mexico’s pledge to treat migrants with respect and humanity has alarmed President Trump, who recently ordered thousands of United States troops the border.
The troops will not arrest or otherwise directly interact with border-crossers; they will, instead, play an auxiliary role as surveillance and operations support.
“Our military is being mobilized at the Southern Border. Many more troops coming. We will NOT let these Caravans, which are also made up of some very bad thugs and gang members, into the U.S. Our Border is sacred, must come in legally. TURN AROUND!” Trump tweeted Wednesday.
POLITICO notes that Trump’s damnation of Mexican efforts to halt the migrants came shortly after White House Press Secretary Sanders told “Fox & Friends” that Mexico has “stepped up in an unprecedented way.”
Sanders said that Mexico is helping in “new ways,” but opined they can “still do more.”
“They helped stop a lot of transportation means in these individuals in the caravans, forcing them walking,” Sanders said. “They have helped us in new ways to slow this down, to break this up and keep it from moving aggressively towards the United States.”
Sanders, asked about Trump’s threats to cut off aid to the same Central American countries recent caravans have come from, said the president is “looking at all options at his disposal, to put not just influence on these countries but also to break up these caravans and stop these people from illegally entering our country.”
Meanwhile, Mexico’s Interior Secretary, Alfonso Navarette, said he “rejects the displays of violence that occurred today at the border with Guatemala.” Navarette is reportedly communicating and collaborating with Central American governments to ensure further and future confrontations can be avoided.