The Mexican Secretariat for Home Affairs reasserted its decision not to grant transit permits to Central American migrants.
In response to the arrival of the caravan of Central American migrants, Mexico temporarily closed its border crossings near the Guatemalan cities of El Ceibo and Tecun Uman on Saturday morning.
Previously, around 4,000 Hondurans had arrived in the country and were waiting on a bridge at Tecun Uman. Some of them began pushing and shoving before being driven back by Mexican security officials, who shut the border crossing.
Central American migrants who could not pass commented that they would try to cross the border through the Suchiate River; the Mexican authorities, however, had already sent members of the National Guard to protect that area.
While the National Migration Institute (INAMI) announced that Central American migrants may request shelter or temporary work in southern Mexico, the Home Affairs Secretariat reasserted its decision not to grant transit permits.
#HoyMismo #Honduras | Frontera entre México y Guatemala esta mañana: de 1200 migrantes, sólo 35 cruzaron al lado mexicano. El ejército mexicano cerró la frontera. El resto de migrantes se ve forzado a permanecer en Guatemala. [Vía��: @elquetzalhoy]. pic.twitter.com/6OfijOHsJH— Noticieros Hoy Mismo (@HoyMismoTSI) January 18, 2020
Mexico-Guatemala border this morning: only 35 of 1200 migrants were able to cross. The Mexican army closed the border. Migrants are forced to remain in Guatemala.
On Saturday, President Donald Trump's administration launched its first threat to the new migrant caravan.
Through its embassy in Honduras, the U.S. government indicated that controls on the southern border of its territory have been reinforced to prevent migrants from passing.
"We have strengthened our border so that illegal migrants cannot cross it and we will strictly enforce our immigration laws."
The U.S. embassy also warned that the decision to travel illegally to the North brings with it severe consequences.
"Do not invest your time and money on a risky journey that is destined to fail,” it said.