Hundreds of Honduran migrants stand at the shore of the Suchiate river on the border between Guatemala and Mexico, in Tecun Uman, Guatemala, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018.
Donald Trump is threatening to deploy the U.S. military and close the southern border with Mexico if a convoy of migrants from Central America is allowed to keep moving northwards.
On Thursday, Mexico's Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray called on the United Nations to assist in processing roughly 3,000 Honduran migrants now heading to the country from Guatemala.
Trump, who ran in 2016 promising to tighten USA immigration laws end the inflow of people entering the country illegally, has called for cutting off foreign aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador if they do not stop the migrants.
The group of would-be immigrants, which has now grown to as many as 4,000 people, left Honduras and plans to head through Mexico toward the U.S. border, infuriating Trump. "So, I think we need to set up an American Ninja Warrior obstacle course at the border and whoever can make it - you can't fake it - they get through".
Along with his warning that he is ready to engage the military, Trump has also threatened to withdraw aid from countries that fail to stop the caravan. He has long pushed economic development as a way to keep people from migrating, and on Wednesday he said, "We will offer jobs, work to Central Americans".
Recent U.S. efforts to curb immigration have come as record numbers of families have sought to enter the United States, although the overall number of people crossing the border is much lower than in previous years.
The migrants planned to wait for the rest of the caravan to arrive, then cross the border en masse in hopes of overwhelming the Mexican authorities, who have vowed to detain anyone without a visa.
Mexican Ambassador to the US Geronimo Gutierrez called the influx of migrants a "humanitarian crisis", CBS said. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders issued a statement saying "while we are passionate about solving the issue of illegal immigration, we are not angry at one another".
Mr Trump made the threat in a series of tweets, where he described the movement of migrants as an "assault on our country" by Central American nations, led by the Democratic Party.
Mexico is seeking global aid as the country prepares for the arrival of thousands of migrants.
Trumpclaimed that "Criminal elements and DRUGS [are] pouring in" and that it is "All Democrats [sic] fault for weak laws!"
Trump's stance, he said, was "what he has always presented", adding he saw "nothing surprising in it".
"They wanted that caravan and there are those that say that caravan didn't just happen", Mr. Trump said.
Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray plans to make the formal request during a meeting Thursday with U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres in NY.
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