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Trump tweets about new migrant caravan that isn’t coming to the US

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President Donald Trump on Friday threatened to close the US-Mexico border and cut off aid to Central American countries, citing a new caravan forming in Honduras — which reportedly isn’t even heading to the US.

“Either we build (finish) the Wall or we close the Border,” Trump tweeted. “Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are doing nothing for the United States but taking our money. Word is that a new Caravan is forming in Honduras and they are doing nothing about it.”

He continued: “We will be cutting off aid to these 3 countries – taking advantage of U.S. for years!”

Trump was likely referring to reports of a caravan of roughly 15,000 migrants set to travel north from Honduras in mid-January, according to The San Diego Union Tribune.

Read more: As the government shutdown over Trump’s border wall rages, a journey along the entire 1,933-mile US-Mexico border shows the monumental task of securing it

A caravan of nearly seven thousand migrants from Central America walk towards Tapachula from Ciudad Hidalgo while en route to the United States, in Frontera Hidalgo, Mexico October 21, 2018.
Reuters/Adrees Latif

But organizers and Spanish-language news outlets have said the caravan is planning to stay in southern Mexico, in the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca.

“We assume that this caravan … will pick up more people in El Salvador and Guatemala,” Irma Garrido, a representative of the immigration advocacy group Reactiva Tijuana Foundation, told the Mexico News Daily. “But their aim is to arrive in Chiapas and request work there.”

The new Mexican president, Andres Manuel López-Obrador, has promised to grant work visas to Central American migrants fleeing Northern Triangle countries due to poverty and violence.

The previous caravans are still stuck south of the US border

A migrant girl, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the United States, rests in a temporary shelter in Tijuana, Mexico, November 28, 2018.
REUTERS/Hannah McKay

The news of a new caravan comes as thousands remain in Tijuana, Mexico, from previous caravans that reached the US-Mexico border throughout the fall.

The Trump administration has imposed a practice at the nearby ports of entry called “metering,” permitting only small numbers of migrants to enter at a time to request asylum, leaving a massive backlog of migrants waiting on the southern side of the border.

Faced with months-long delays and an overwhelmed shelter network in Tijuana, some of the migrants have resorted to crossing the border into the US illegally, opting to remain in Mexico and work, or even returning home.

Read more: The migrant mom pictured fleeing with her kids from tear gas at the US border has finally set foot on American soil

Honduran migrants climb the border fence to jump inside the United States to San Diego, from Tijuana, Mexico, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018.
Associated Press/Daniel Ochoa de Olza

Garrido told the Mexico News Daily that the new caravan in Honduras has heard rumors of the “strong xenophobia” in the Tijuana area due to the previous caravans, and suggested it influenced their decision to remain in southern Mexico.

But Garrido added that some members of the new caravan could likely continue north to the US, regardless.

Already, conservative media has begun to seize on news of the new caravan to drum up support for Trump’s immigration agenda.

“Report today that another, far larger, caravan assembling in Honduras of as many as 15,000 people,” Fox News host Laura Ingraham tweeted. “About 1,000 illegals released every week. Will Pelosi & Schumer do nothing? McConnell? Hello?”

The US government is still partially shut down since Trump is demanding billions of dollars to fund his border wall, and Congress hasn’t passed a spending bill.

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