President Trump has threatened to send troops to close the USA border with Mexico if the country fails to stop the "onslaught" of migrants from Central America, as White House tensions erupted in a heated exchange between two of his closest aides.
He added in another message: 'The assault on our country at our Southern Border, including the Criminal elements and DRUGS pouring in, is far more important to me, as President, than Trade or the USMCA. As many as 4,000 people are making their way from Honduras to Guatemala and north to Mexico, with their sights set on the USA border.
But the idea that Mexico could close its porous southern border - or that the United States would choke off the hundreds of thousands of legal freight, vehicle and pedestrian crossings every day - strained the imagination.
When asked if Mexico will take Trump's threats to withhold aid seriously, Gutierrez said a conversation with the United States is important, but stressed the complexity of the situation.
If an individual manages to evade the new system and travels through Mexico to eventually cross the border into the U.S., Mexico will now allow those persons to be returned to Mexico, the official told Fox News.
He said he had spoken with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez about ensuring the migrants who want to return home can do so safely.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The group was held at the border by Guatemalan police on Monday for several hours What will happen to the people?
Illegal immigration is likely to be a top issue in November 6 United States congressional elections.
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This includes a visit to Mexico ahead of its December inauguration of President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. That means the arguments from the open-borders lobby that any migrants claiming any kind of dissatisfaction with their own countries have an affirmative right to asylum protections are flawed.
In morning tweets, Trump repeated vows to halt USA aid to Central American countries that do not disband the caravan and issued a fresh threat to the Mexican government, which said Wednesday that it would treat those in the caravan no differently than it does other migrants.
His threats came as hundreds of members of the loosely organized caravan arrived at the Mexico-Guatemala border.
Meanwhile, a Honduran caravan of migrants headed for the USA border has grown to 4,000.
"We will offer jobs, work to Central Americans".
Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said Wednesday that while Central Americans are legally free to transit from country to country under a regional agreement, a "massive ingress of people without registering" puts Guatemala in a hard position because it's impossible to know who the people are and what may be the intentions of any of their leaders.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Mexico to meet with his counterparts on Friday, where plans to stop the caravan will be a "prominent" topic of discussion, according to a senior State Department official who spoke to reporters on Wednesday.
"It was predictable, and it's also very close to the election".