The caravan of prospective illegal immigrants continued its march toward the United States, and violently stormed the gates from Guatemala into Mexico and accosted U.S.-donated military jeeps.
The startling action came just hours after reports had indicated the group, estimated in a range from 1,500 to 4,000 migrants mostly from Honduras, had turned back due to a heavy law enforcement presence.
President Trump warned the caravan about grave consequences – and threatened to call up the military – should they attempt to cross the southern border of the United States.
They seem to have ignored that warning.
Trump warns the caravan and originating governments
“Anybody entering the United States illegally will be arrested and detained, prior to being sent back to their country,” Trump declared.
Trump then threatened actions against the countries involved in allowing the surge with economic punishment.
We have today informed the countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador that if they allow their citizens, or others, to journey through their borders and up to the United States, with the intention of entering our country illegally, all payments made to them will STOP (END)!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2018
Trump later insisted that Mexico serve as the last stop as the caravan approaches.
“If unable to do so,” he announced. “I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!”
Migrants break down the gates
A federal police officer, shouting into a loudspeaker, told the encroaching migrants that “We need you to stop the aggression.”
Hours later, the Associated Press announced that the caravan’s compliance was short-lived and that the migrants had torn down the gates at the border between Guatemala and Mexico.
BREAKING: Migrants in caravan tear down border gate in Guatemala, rush toward border bridge into Mexico.
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 19, 2018
An updated report indicated the migrants “have broken down gates at a border crossing and are streaming toward a bridge to Mexico.”
After arriving at the tall, yellow metal fence Friday, some clambered atop it and on U.S.-donated military jeeps. Young men began violently tugging on the barrier and finally succeeded in tearing it down. Men, women and children then rushed through toward the bridge, about 150 yards away.
The chaos can be seen in the following video at about the 1:48 mark …
— RAMIRO ESCOTO (@Ramiro_Escoto) October 19, 2018
“One way or another, we will pass,” some in the mob of people chanted.
“We are going to the United States!” one person shouted as he ran past Guatemalan police. “Nobody is going to stop us!”
Mexican authorities had vowed to turn back any migrants who did not properly follow immigration law. Will they adhere to that promise? Or will President Trump have to shut down the southern border?