Central American caravan moves on in spite of Mexico jobs offer

JOSE MENDEZ/EFE/Newscomweighing a plan to shut the US border to Central Americans and deny them the opportunity to seek asylum, asserting similar emergency powers used during the early 2017 "travel ban", according to administration officials and people familiar with the proposal.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Sunday that President Trump is considering "every possible action" to prevent the controversial caravan of undocumented migrants, which is now moving closer to the USA border, from entering the country illegally, adding there is in actual fact "a right way" to emigrate to the US.

Migrants walk along the road after Mexico's federal police briefly blocked the highway in an attempt to stop a thousands-strong caravan of Central American migrants from advancing, outside the town of Arriaga, Chiapas State, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018.

The group is approximately 1,000 miles from the United States and is expected to reach the southern border within weeks.

"We are looking at every possible way within the legal construct that we have to make sure that those who don't have legal right to come to this country do not come in", Nielsen said.

Coto said he knows the Mexican government is pressuring the migrants and refugees to stay in the country, but he hopes the caravan will continue its journey towards the US.

But when Election Day rolls around on November 6, the caravan could still be somewhere in the middle of Mexico, depending on the group's location, how fast it's been traveling and how long it's taken other groups of migrants to cross the country.

"To me it's bad because there has to be equality because we are all struggling on this path", Hector Alvarado, 25, told NBC News.

This year's caravans have earned the ire of Trump. Thousands of migrants waited to advance, vowing to continue their long trek toward the US border.

Taking aim at the caravan of Central American migrants, Trump wrote on Twitter on Thursday he was "bringing out the military for this National Emergency".

The caravan is now trying to strike out for Tapanatepec, about 29 miles (46 kilometers) away.

"They should be seeking refuge in Mexico", Nielsen said.

Caravan spokesman Alexander Martinez said at a press conference that all except about 300 members of the group made a decision to remain in the town and resume their journey on Monday morning while they organise safety and security committees. Only about 200 in that group made it to the border.

Gutierrez, the young woman travelling with her daughter, sister and niece, said she had never before slept in a park or on a sidewalk. Most caravan members are Honduran nationals who entered Mexico illegally via Guatemala.

However, it now appears such smaller groups will be picked off by immigration authorities, keeping them from swelling the caravan's ranks. He also harshly criticized the Democrats for standing in the way of effectively updating immigration laws.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said that migrants wishing to obtain temporary identification documents, jobs or education for their children could do so by registering for asylum in southern Mexico. The IDs, called CURPs, authorise the migrants to stay and work in Mexico, and the ministry further added that pregnant women, children and the elderly were among those who had joined the program and were now being attended at shelters.

"We do not have any intention right now to shoot at people, but they will be apprehended, however", she said.

  • Joey Payne