While the Mexican government militarized its borders, Guatemalan security forces on Monday cleared a road of hundreds of people in a mostly Honduran migrant caravan that had camped out overnight when authorities barred it from advancing toward the United States.
Guatemala beat back on Sunday a large migrant caravan bound for the United States, just days before the inauguration of the new administration.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador offered 4,000 jobs Friday to migrants in a new caravan currently crossing Central America toward the United States.
US President Donald Trump has put Mexico and Central American nations under pressure to accept a series of migration agreements that aim to shift the burden of dealing with asylum-seekers on to them, and away from the United States.
The U.S.-Mexico border at the San Isidro Port of Entry was closed in both directions for more than five hours on Sunday after hundreds of migrants rushed the area, prompting federal authorities to launch tear gas in an apparent attempt to get the group to disperse.
United States Defense Secretary James Mattis has said military police at the border with Mexico will be unarmed and will not have the power to carry out arrests. They don't have guns in their hands, there is no armed element going in, Mr. Mattis told reporters on Wednesday.
The flier began circulating on social media in Honduras this month, showing a lone migrant sketched against a bright red backdrop. It was a call to join a caravan, the work of leftist activists and politicians who had helped lead migrants north in the past. But they also tossed a political spark into the mix, blaming their right-wing government for the exodus: “The violence and poverty is expelling us.”
The organizer of a migrant caravan from Honduras was detained in Guatemala on Tuesday as the U.S. government threatened to withdraw aid from both countries and El Salvador if the flow of migrants north to the United States was not stopped.