Mexican immigration agents have detained hundreds of Central American migrants on a fourth caravan which was en route to the U.S.-Mexico border to seek asylum.
Mexico's National Immigration Institute announced that 213 migrants were taken into custody and transferred to a processing center, on Wednesday. The migrants well held on a highway between the Guatemalan border and the southern Mexican city of Tapachula. According to reports, some 186 migrants were from El Salvador, 16 from Guatemala, 10 Honduras and one from Nicaragua.
Mexican authorities added that any migrants found to be in violation of immigration requirement, namely lacking proper documentation, will be repatriated to their home country.
Additionally, President Donald Trump, who refers to the caravans as a national emergency, has reportedly authorized border troops - stationed at the U.S.-Mexican border - to use lethal force against the migrants.
“There are a lot of criminals in the caravan. We will stop them,” Trump tweeted late Wednesday.
The presidential memo, according to Newsweek, declares that the enhanced powers are aimed at preventing the entry of the migrant caravans that are camped out on the Mexican side of the border, authorizing U.S. troops to conduct "crowd control, temporary detention and cursory search" according to a CNN report.
“As Secretary [Kirstjen] Nielsen has said, we will not allow our frontline personnel to be in harm’s way,” spokeswoman Katie Waldman stated. “We will do everything we can to protect those who defend our nation’s sovereignty and secure our border. We appreciate the Department of Defense stepping in to assist the Department of Homeland Security as needed.”
President of Human Rights First, Michael Breen, pushed back against the Trump edict, saying “this legally dubious ‘Cabinet order’ creates confusion, undermines morale, and may very well lead to violence.”
Stephen Mihm, a history professor at the University of Georgia, in a post, explained the intricate technicalities of that the U.S. president’s new directive.
“The Posse Comitatus Act has a vexed history, one that makes it difficult to invoke. Moreover, loopholes have multiplied over the years. No one has ever been prosecuted for violating it,” the professor stated on Bloomberg View.
The Posse Comitatus Act restricts the use of the military for law enforcement on U.S. soil.
Mexico previously offered residency and other types of visas to some migrants from the caravan. Mexican authorities also established a support program, which has attracted hundreds of asylum applicants, so far.
On Tuesday, Mexican Interior Ministry said about 5,600 migrants - from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador - were camped in the cities of Tijuana and Mexicali, near the U.S. border.