Migrant Invaders Refuse Calls to Stay in Mexico
Thousands for Central American migrant invaders turned down a Mexican offer of benefits if they applied for refugee status and stayed in the country’s 2 southernmost states, vowing to set out before dawn Saturday to continue their long trek toward the US border, and the US military that awaits them.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto announced the “You are at home” plan, offering shelter, medical attention, schooling and jobs to Central Americans in Chiapas and Oaxaca states if they applied, calling it a 1st step toward permanent refugee status.
Authorities said more than 1,700 have applied for refugee status.
But after 1 of the invader’s longest days of walking and hanging from passing trucks, the bulk of the people were boisterous Friday evening in their refusal to accept anything less than safe passage to the US border.
“Thank you!” they yelled as they voted to reject the offer in a show of hands in the town of Arriaga. They then added: “No, we’re heading North!”
Still 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) from the nearest US border crossing at McAllen, Texas, the journey could be 2X as long if the invaders head for the Tijuana-San Diego port of entry, as another group did earlier this year. Only about 200 in that mob made it to the border.
While such migrant caravans have taken place regularly over the years, passing largely unnoticed, they have received widespread attention this year after fierce opposition from US President Donald Trump.
Friday, the Pentagon approved a request for additional regular troops at the southern border to help the US Border Patrol,as President Trump emphasizes concerns about illegal immigration concerns the 6 November midterm Congressional election.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis signed off on the request for help from the Department of Homeland Security and authorized the military staff to work out details such as the size, composition and estimated cost of the deployments, the planning has not yet been announced.
The President has declared that gang members and “Middle Easterners” are mixed in the invading group.
Mexico’s government has allowed the central American migrants to make their way on foot, but has not provided them with food, shelter or toilets, reserving any aid for those who turn themselves in.
Mexican police have also been ejecting paid migrant passengers off buses, enforcing an obscure road insurance regulation to make it tougher for them to travel that way.
Authorities are also cracking down on smaller groups trying to catch up with the main caravan, detaining about 300 Hondurans and Guatemalans as they walked along a highway after crossing the Mexico border illegally, said an official with the national immigration authority.
Migrants, who enter Mexico illegally every day, usually ride in smugglers’ trucks or buses, or walk at night to avoid detection. The fact that this group was walking in broad daylight suggests they were adopting the tactics of the caravan, which is large enough to be out in the open without fear of mass detentions.
However, it now appears such smaller groups will be picked off by immigration authorities, keeping them from swelling the caravan’s ranks.
Lat Friday in an interview, Irineo Mujica, whose organization People without Borders is supporting the caravan, accused Mexican immigration agents of harassing migrants in an effort to stop the invader’s advance. He said the Mexicans are terrorizing us!