Bound migrant caravan swells despite Trump's threat to close border

Bound migrant caravan swells despite Trump's threat to close border

But a far bigger group forded the Suchiate River from Guatemala to the Mexican side individually and dozens at a time, and resumed the trek at first light, marching 10 abreast on the highway.

The group had exploded in size from the 2,000 people who had stopped overnight on Saturday.

"People have to apply for asylum in Mexico first, and if they fail to do that, the United States will turn them away".

Mexican immigration authorities said they had allowed some 1,028 migrants through the official border crossing in Ciudad Hidalgo near the bridge spanning the Suchiate River over the past three days.

About a thousand migrants, including women and children, were still stranded on a border bridge hoping to enter Mexico legally via Guatemala.

But despite a continued heavy police deployment on the bridge, a steady stream of migrants made it to Mexican soil with relative ease by crossing the Suchiate River that demarcates the notoriously porous border. It also said that priority attention would be given "164 women, some of them in advanced stage of pregnancy; 104 girls, boys and teenagers, who are from 3 months old to 17 years old; as well as older adults who have varying degrees of disability". She clutched her two-year-old daughter Dayani, who had recently had a heart operation, as she got off a raft.

Caravan members say they are fleeing gang violence at home and looking for jobs in the USA - neither of which has traditionally been enough reason to win asylum on its own.

Group of thousands of migrants from Central America on journey to US ahead of midterm elections.

He said: "I don't want them in our country".

Mr Trump has said that he would send troops to the southern U.S. border if there was a mass attempt to cross from Mexico and has placed immigration at the top of the midterm election campaign.

Mexico's interior department said it had received 640 refugee requests by Hondurans at the border crossing.

Trump has seized on the caravan and border security in general as a campaign issue ahead of midterm elections in early November, and on Sunday afternoon he let loose anew.

Some camped on the bridge "are very aggressive and no longer have patience, they are already desperate because the Mexicans did not open the door to us", said Gina Paola Montes, 21, a humanities student from Honduras university.

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Some tore open a fence on the Guatemala side of the bridge and threw two young children, perhaps age 6 or 7, and their mother into the muddy waters about 40 feet below.

Outside Tapachula about 500 federal police briefly gathered along the highway on buses and in patrol units, but officers said their instructions were to maintain traffic on the highway not stop the caravan.

Mexican workers handed food bottled water to the migrants on the bridge.

Mr Trump sees the caravan as a winning issue in the upcoming U.S. mid-term elections.

Civil defense officials for Mexico's southern state of Chiapas said they had offered to take the migrants by bus to a shelter set up by immigration officials about 5 miles outside Tapachula, but the migrants refused, fearing that once they boarded the buses they would be sent back to Honduras, according to the Associated Press.

Erika Guevara-Rosas of Amnesty International said in a statement: "These families deserve dignity and respect to ensure that no-one is illegally returned to situations where they could risk serious harm due to violence".

Migrants have commonly cited widespread poverty and gang violence in Honduras, one of the world's deadliest nations by homicide rate, as their reasons for joining the caravan.

"So as of this moment, I thank Mexico", Trump said Friday at an event in Scottsdale, Arizona. Thank you Mexico and the leaders of Mexico, thank you. "If that doesn't work out, we're calling up the military - not the Guard".

"They might as well turn back, they're not coming into this country", he told reporters on Friday.

Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he was suggesting to Trump that the United States, Canada and Mexico seek an agreement to invest in development in Central America and southern Mexico, which is home to many of that country's poor.

The President seemed to draw a connection between the Democratic Party and the group of an estimated 5,000 migrants in terms of immigration policy.

The Honduran government has also blamed the political opposition back home for encouraging the exodus of migrants.

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