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Migrant caravan surges to 7,000 heading to US after 2,000 deported in Guatemala

Migrants from Honduras are sitting in a caravan after the Guatemalan police stopped them after crossing the border, on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018. The police detained the migrants for several hours, but they refused to return to the border and were finally allowed to pass. The group, which is estimated at 1,600 to 2,000 people, wants to go to the United States. (Morena Perez Joachin/DPA/Zuma Press/TNS)
October 22, 2018

Over the weekend, the U.S.-bound migrant caravan from Honduras has now amassed an estimated 7,000 people on its trek through Mexico toward the United States.

Authorities in Mexico estimated Sunday that the caravan now contains 7,000 migrants, most of which hail from Honduras, and that number stands after Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said an estimated 2,000 have been captured and deported to Honduras, according to an NBC News report Monday.

“Sadly, it looks like Mexico’s Police and Military are unable to stop the Caravan heading to the Southern Border of the United States. Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in. I have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National [Emergency]. Must change laws!” President Trump tweeted Monday morning.

He added that U.S. aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador would now be cut, as he threatened last week, over their failure of blocking the migrant caravan.

“Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the U.S. We will now begin cutting off, or substantially reducing, the massive foreign aid routinely given to them,” President Trump tweeted Monday morning.

On Friday when the migrant caravan arrived at the Mexico-Guatemala border, a clash between the migrants and Mexican federal police ensued, which left six of the federal officers injured.

Police used tear gas in an attempt to prevent the migrants from crossing the border, which was unsuccessful as migrants traversed the Suchiate River to gain entry into Mexico.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed the violence on Sunday, saying, “We also are deeply concerned by the violence provoked by some members of the group, as well as the apparent political motivation of some organizers of the caravan.”

“As President Trump has stated, consistent with U.S. law, the United States will not allow illegal immigrants to enter or remain in the United States,” he added.

Pompeo met with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray Caso to discuss the caravan.

“The Mexican Government is fully engaged in finding a solution that encourages safe, secure, and orderly migration, and both the United States and Mexico continue to work with Central American governments to address the economic, security, and governance drivers of illegal immigration,” said a State Department press release on Saturday.

President Trump tweeted Sunday, saying, “Full efforts are being made to stop the onslaught of illegal aliens from crossing our Souther[n] Border. People have to apply for asylum in Mexico first, and if they fail to do that, the U.S. will turn them away. The courts are asking the U.S. to do things that are not doable!”

Approximately 1,000 members of the caravan have entered Mexico through legal means, having applied for asylum status in Mexico and have been held by authorities during the application process, according to the Los Angeles Times.