After President Trump threatened to cut American funding to the country of Honduras, if the government did not stop an immigrant caravan from making its way to the United States, both the Honduran and Mexican governments acted immediately in a concerted effort to stop the caravan from reaching the southwest border.
The message was sent to the Honduran government via the President’s favor mode of communication; Twitter, “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!” tweeted the President.
Every fiscal year, the United States government sends millions in aid to the Honduran government. In fiscal year 2019, the United States plans to send Honduras $66 million in aid.
Following the president’s tweet, Guatemalan officials swiftly arrested the leader of the caravan and began the process of returning him to Honduras.
Mexican police have been deployed to the southern border ahead of the caravan’s arrival. It is estimated that approximately 1,500 Hondurans, including parents and toddlers, form part of the caravan. Honduran officials have so far been unable to stop the caravan from crossing the border into Guatemala, where they will continue their long and perilous journey through Mexico and finally to the United States.
As part of a bilateral agreement, Mexico has agreed to cooperate with the American government to contain illegal immigration to the United States. The Mexican government said Monday that it will not grant admission to migrants who do not meet Mexican visa requirements. Checkpoints have already been set up along the Guatemala-Mexico border to deter the caravan from entering Mexico.
With these actions the American and Mexican governments are sending a clear message: migrants seeking to escape poverty, gang violence, or persecution must apply for the appropriate visa at a Consulate or establish that they are eligible to request asylum at the border.
Unfortunately, the Secretary of Homeland Security has announced the termination of the TPS designation for Honduras, however a federal judge has ordered the government to continue to allow Honduran nationals to seek TPS while a lawsuit comes to a resolution.