Thousands of Central American migrants made their way across the border of Guatemala and Mexico over the weekend as they trek toward the United States border in search of asylum, The Associated Press reported.
The AP reported that the so-called “caravan” of individuals fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries voted to skirt the asylum application process in Mexico after deciding it was taking too long. A relatively small number of migrants clashed with police as they sought to push across the border.
Roughly 2,000 migrants swam or were ferried across a river at the Guatemala-Mexico border, or made their way across a bridge before re-connecting with the larger group, the AP reported.
Many migrants seeking refuge in the U.S. travel in large numbers for safety on their journey.
The AP reported that Mexican authorities attempted to maintain order and prevent the group from surging across the border. Mexican officials accepted small groups for asylum-processing and provided visitor permits to other individuals, the AP reported.
The country last week requested United Nations assistance for asylum processing in anticipation of the caravan’s arrival at its border.
He has wielded the caravan as a political bargaining tool, threatening to close down the U.S.-Mexico border if the group is not stopped, or to cut off aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador if those countries do not prevent their citizens from fleeing for the U.S.
The president highlighted a similar group of migrants traveling to the U.S. in April, using that group to rally support for his border wall and blame Democrats for congressional inaction on immigration laws.
BY BRETT SAMUELS – 10/21/18