Showdown Looms as Migrant Caravans Swell at Mexico Border


Once as many as 1,500 migrants, the caravan appears to have dwindled to about 600, the news organization reported.

About 130 Central Americans seeking asylum and traveling in a caravan made it to Tijuana, Mexico, which sits on the Mexico-U.S. border about 20 miles south of San Diego, Wednesday evening, Reuters reported.

The timing of the migrants arrival could compromise a flurry of talks this week to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which Trump has repeatedly threatened to scrap if Mexico does not crack down on the flow of Central Americans through its territory.

Hundreds of migrants from Central America arrived at the US-Mexico border Wednesday night; setting the stage for a looming showdown with President Trump who pledged to refuse entry should the workers attempt to enter the United States.

Mexican authorities subsequently handed out temporary visas at the migrant's makeshift camp in the town, legalizing their status in Mexico and allowing them to travel to the border.

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"I see it as something really sad, because I don't understand how a child this age can make things hard for him", said Hernandez, who is two months pregnant.

The secretary also said asylum seekers in the caravan should seek protection in the first safe country they reach, including Mexico.

Let's also be clear: The real threat is not the migrant caravan or any other individual wielding their right to seek asylum. The words read, "I just want Rock and Roll".

Another busload of migrants arrived in the afternoon, overflowing the first shelter and more pulled in after dark. Local migrant aid groups said it was the biggest single group they had seen arrive together as they scrambled to find places in ten shelters.

'Thanks to God we're here, ' said 34-year-old Aide Hernandez from Guatemala who had four children in tow. When asked why, she looked down, ashamed to detail a case of domestic abuse.

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The first groups of migrants plan to try to enter the USA on Sunday, The Associated Press reported.

In response, rights groups defended what they call a global right to apply for asylum.

Videgaray told Nielsen that Mexico would make its own "sovereign" decisions on immigration and that its cooperation with the United States was dictated by Mexican interests.

Mass immigration advocacy groups say the migrants are hoping to claim asylum once they enter the USA, but US immigration officials say the migrants are looking to take advantage of the catch-and-release system.

'The smugglers, traffickers and criminals understand our legal loopholes better than Congress and are effectively exploiting them to their advantage, ' she said.

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Ties between the United States and Mexico have been strained since Trump won the presidency in 2016 on the back of a campaign heavy on anti-Mexican rhetoric and promises to build a wall on the two countries' border and make Mexico pay for it.