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When the Wandering Caravan arrives, what will Mexico do?



Pompeo will be meeting in Mexico City with a message for local leadership on the massive caravan of migrants: Stop them before they reach the US border.

The Key Questions: Will Mexico let the migrants in? And what will happen if they do it?

The caravan quickly caught the attention of world leaders as the word spread over the weekend. On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump announced a warning and threatened to cut Honduras foreign aid if the group did not return.

But government statements, Twitter posts, and even a police blockade could not stop the caravan. Thousands of Honduran migrants travel through Guatemala, according to humanitarian aid groups. And hundreds more travel through El Salvador en route to Guatemala.

They plan to cross the border of Mexico in the coming days, then further north to the United States.

Already some migrants from the caravan have begun to seek refuge, Mexico's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday evening. And local media reports that more and more migrants have reached the Guatemalan city of Tecun Uman via the tortuous Suchiate from Mexico.

A bridge over the river marks an official border crossing.

It is known that migrants encountered the river on rafts for years ̵

1; sometimes authorities met on the way, sometimes with little resistance, when they slipped to Mexico and continued their journey north.

  This 9 August 2018 file photo shows an area where people are crossing the Suchiate River from Guatemala to Mexico. The illegal border crossing is located directly under the international bridge between the two countries and bypasses immigration and customs control posts.

Mexico outlines its plan

In recent days, the Mexican authorities have shown that they have security near the southern border of the country increase. The Mexican Federal Police released a video of officers marching in the border state of Chiapas, some with equipment for riots.

Mexico's government also published a statement on how they wanted to respond:

• Anyone with a valid visa will be able to enter and move freely

• Anyone recognized as a refugee or as a beneficiary of "complementary protective measures" wants to be, must do this individually. Those who do this will be held "at a walking station" for up to 45 working days.

• Anyone who "enters in an irregular manner" will be "rescued and subjected to an administrative procedure and, if necessary," returned to their country of origin in a safe and orderly manner. "

The Mexican authorities have also stated that they are asking for help from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to treat migrants seeking refugee status on the country's southern border.

This seems to be a departure from previous policies, where humanitarian visas or transit visas were issued, and migrants were given the option to continue their journey north if they did not want to apply for asylum in Mexico.

This past In the spring, when another caravan of Central American immigrants entered Mexico this policy of the group to push forward to the US border.

An "almost impossible" situation

But there are still many unanswered questions about how this will actually affect once a large number of migrants arrives . A complicated mix of pressure incriminates Mexican officials, ie e decide how to handle it.

"It's a very difficult situation for the Mexican government," says Ana Maria Salazar, a former security officer for the Pentagon analyst in Mexico City

"It's a situation that is hard to solve for Mexico at the time" Salazar told CNN en Español Thursday.

Among the factors in the game:

1) President Trump

Trump sat on Thursday on the role of Mexico and tweeted that he cares more about the caravan than about the recent renegotiated North American trade agreements Mexico and Canada. And he threatened to send in troops to "shut down" the southern US border if Mexico did not stop a so-called "onslaught."

If Trump withdraws from the trade agreement or closes the border, it would have economic consequences for both countries. If Mexico eventually opposes the caravan, this would be seen as a coup for the government in the United States – especially among Trump's supporters – and would talk about how successful the building of bridges with the Mexican government has been [1965-90] ] as Trump continues to boast of building a boundary wall.

But in Mexico, where protesters were already marching in support of the approaching Honduran migrants, the withdrawal to US pressure would not be nearly as good.

2) Migration on both sides of the border

It is important to remember that Mexico is not just about people coming to the country, says Salazar.

There are also Mexican immigrants living abroad, many of whom are undocumented.

"Just as Mexico treats the undocumented Central American immigrants, Mexico's position influences how the US government can criticize its treatment of undocumented Mexican immigrants in the United States," Salazar told CNN en Español.

3) A Presidential Transfer

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has in the past joined forces with the United States on immigration issues. In recent years, Mexico has deported more Central American immigrants than the United States.

But Peña Nieto is a lame duck, with less than two months in office. (19659007) His successor, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, takes office on 1 December. During a presidential debate, Lopez Obrador hinted that his government would stop doing "dirty work" for the United States by arresting Central Americans migrants. He said Wednesday that his administration will offer work visas to Central Americans.

"Anyone who wants to work in our country will get support, will have a work visa," he said. "We will not focus on the problem only with deportations or violence."

Pompeo is expected to meet with Peña Nieto and Foreign Minister Luis Videaray and Lopez Obrador's designated Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard on Friday "We are looking for concrete results," said the Foreign Ministry before Pompeo's trip "and solutions that work for both countries "

Journalists Michelle Mendoza and Merlin Delcid contributed to the report.


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