Published: Mon, October 29, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Donald Trump may send United States troops to Mexico border, migrants remain undeterred

Donald Trump may send United States troops to Mexico border, migrants remain undeterred

More than 1,750 migrants who had been part of a caravan heading toward the United States border have stopped heading north to seek asylum in Mexico, according to a United Nations official Friday.

Donald Trump has threatened to close the US-Mexico border and cut aid to Central America to try to stop the caravan of several thousand people.

The latest moves were seen by both supporters and opponents as an escalation of the administration's confrontational stance on immigration, striking political and legal nerves around the country.

They would not be engaged in any law enforcement activities, something that is prohibited under USA law, and instead focus on support roles in areas like infrastructure and logistics.

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.

An official from Mexico's National Immigration Institute who was not authorized to be quoted by name said the group of 300 included Hondurans and Guatemalans who were detained because they entered the country without proper documents.

After she arrived, two workers installed a plaque displaying Trump's name, atop the names of several border officials. A lot of them are likely to be drawn from National Guard units, though some active-duty troops may be sent as well.

The Pentagon did not comment on potential troop numbers, which USA officials have told Reuters could be at least 800 active-duty troops and begin deploying as soon as Tuesday.

The caravan began in Honduras almost two weeks ago and other Central Americans have joined it along the way. United States officials have said that up to 1,000 troops may be sent to the southern border to prevent the migrants from crossing.

Most of the migrants in the caravan appeared determined to reach the US, despite an offer of refuge in Mexico.

"To me it's bad because there has to be equality because we are all struggling on this path", said Hector Alvarado.

At a church in Arriaga that opened its grounds to women and children Friday, Ana Griselda Hernandez, 44, of Mapala, Honduras said she and two friends traveling with children had chose to pay for a bus ride from Pijijiapan, because the 4-year-old and 5-year-old would have never covered the 60-mile distance.

Defense Secretary James Mattis is expected to sign deployment orders that could send 800 or more troops to the border with Mexico to help border patrol authorities stop the caravan, according to three administration officials.

Guatemalan riot police fired tear gas at the migrants who, desperate to continue their northward trek toward the United States border, responded by hurling stones and sticks. They are operating under the control of state governors from Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California.

There already are about 2,000 National Guard troops assisting at the border under a previous Pentagon operation.

DHS asked for help in various forms.

National Guard troops routinely perform those same functions, so it is not clear why active duty forces are being used.

Federal law prohibits the use of active duty service members for law enforcement inside the US unless specifically authorized by Congress.

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