WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump threatened on Tuesday to “immediately” withdraw US aid funds allocated to Honduras if a caravan of migrants that left that country on the weekend is not stopped before it gets to the US.
“The United States has strongly informed the President of Honduras that if the large Caravan of people heading to the U.S. is not stopped and brought back to Honduras, no more money or aid will be given to Honduras, effective immediately!” said Trump on Twitter on Tuesday morning, referring to Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez.
On Saturday, about 1,000 Honduran men, women and children, set out in a caravan from the northern city of San Pedro Sula with the aim of getting to the US and Canada, citing the desire to ensure their personal safety and better living conditions as their reasons for beginning the trek.
The Mexican government said that migrants who want to enter Mexican territory must do so in compliance with prevailing law and go through the proper procedures at the consulates.
In the past few hours, between 1,500 and 2,000 people – including a number of children – passed through the border crossing point at Agua Caliente, Guatemala, and headed for the city of Esquipulas in that country, where they spent the night before continuing their journey on Tuesday.
According to The Washington Post, the Trump administration is studying measures to take against the migrant caravan, implying that once again it might separate immigrant children from their parents if they cross the southern US border.
By issuing his threat to cancel aid to Honduras, Trump appears to be trying to exert pressure to avoid a repeat of the situation that occurred last March with another migrant caravan that traversed Mexico to get to US soil.
In that case, the Mexican city of Tapachula was the starting point for a group of some 1,200 Central American migrants who formed a caravan to head to the US.
Despite the fact that this situation occurs each year, the March recent caravan sparked diplomatic tension between the US and Mexico, with Trump firing off criticism against the US southern neighbor and saying that the caravan had to be stopped before it got to the US.