A new caravan with hundreds of Central American migrants is on its way to the United States. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that programs established at the border and international cooperation agreements should prevent migrants from entering the country.
According to Bloomberg, the group consists of between 2,500 and 3,000 migrants from El Salvador and Honduras. The caravan came together on Wednesday (15) near San Pedro Sula in Honduras to cross the border with Guatemala, the first international currency on the way to the United States.
Guatemala's new president, Alejandro Giammattei, had a meeting on Wednesday with Mexico's foreign minister, Marcelo Erbrard, and later told reporters that Mexico was determined to prevent the caravan from passing.
"The Mexican government has told us that they will not let (the caravan) through; they will do everything in their power to prevent it from passing," said Giammattei.
The Guatemalan government said that due to agreements between Central American countries, anyone with travel documents will be able to pass. But they will find it more difficult to reach the border between Mexico and the USA.
DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf said the migration situation has changed since previous caravans arrived in the U.S. across the southern border. According to him, the White House has reached agreements with governments in Mexico and Central American countries that prevent the mass movement of asylum seekers.
"I would say that what has changed since 2018, or even since last year, is the number of agreements that we have established with Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico," Wolf said on Thursday in an interview with an American radio. "We have (border protection) agents, tactical agents in Guatemala, and the government of Mexico, at the request of (American Donald) President Trump, has sent national guards to guard the northern and southern borders."
"If individuals can make it through this, when they reach the southwest border, they will find several programs established by us that will not allow them to enter the country without any legal reason to be here," continued Wolf.
The new migration agreement between the US and Guatemala provides that asylum seekers can be sent to the Central American country to seek protection. Some of the migrants may also be subject to the Migrants Protection Protocols, and would have to wait in Mexico during proceedings in the US migration courts.
Mexico suffered threats from Trump administration sanctions last year if the country did not face the wave of migrants crossing the country to reach the U.S. southern border. In response, Mexico sent troops to its two borders and crossings to the United States decreased.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has pledged to find jobs for some of the migrants in the country's southern border region, as well as access to medical care and shelter. López Obrador told a news conference on Thursday that he is monitoring the movement of migrants.