Migrant caravan gathers in southern Mexico on way to United States

Mexico City, October 14 (RHC)-- Several hundred migrants from Africa, the Caribbean and Central America set off from southern Mexico on Saturday in a caravan headed to the United States, according to local media.

The migrants assembled and departed before dawn from Tapachula in the southern state of Chiapas near Guatemala, despite an ongoing crackdown on migration on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.  They proceeded on foot toward Huixtla about 20 miles (32 km) away.

The scene was reminiscent of a string of caravans that left Central America a year ago, at one point ballooning into a group of 7,000 people in southern Mexico.  The en masse migration drew extensive media attention and triggered a crisis with U.S. President Donald Trump, who called the caravans an “invasion” and demanded Mexico do more to halt their progress.

Accompanied by police who warned truck drivers not to let migrants hitch rides, some in Saturday’s caravan said they planned to trek the hundreds of miles across Mexico and enter the United States.

Many in the group of as many as two thousand people wore baseball caps and bulky backpacks, Reuters photos showed.  Some migrants carried children on their shoulders, and one woman walked while balancing a pink bucket of belongings on her head.

The Mexican government in June struck a deal with the United States vowing to significantly curb U.S.-bound migration in exchange for averting U.S. tariffs on Mexican exports.

Arrests at the U.S.-Mexico border fell in September for the fourth month in a row, after record high crossings this Spring, and the Trump administration credited cooperation from Mexico and Central American countries for the sustained drop.

Edited by Ed Newman
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US Lawmaker Ocasio-Cortez In Tears As Migrant Mother Describes Baby Daughter's Death

Washington: A US Congresswoman was moved to tears on Wednesday as a migrant mother narrated the story of her young daughter's death after being held by US immigration authorities last year.

Yazmin Juarez, an asylum seeker from Guatemala, spoke out at a congressional hearing staged amid a series of scandals over poor conditions suffered by detained migrants that has rocked Washington. She said 19-month-old daughter had contracted a deadly lung infection during a 20-day detention near the US border with Mexico.

The migrant mother's story left some members of a US House panel, including New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, visibly shaken. Ms Ocasio-Cortez and several others hugged the woman after she spoke.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29, is the youngest woman to serve in the US Congress.

it192okgGuatemalan woman Yazmin Juarez's daughter died after being held by US authorities last year.

Yazmin Juarez said she fled to the United States last year with her 19-month-old Mariee "because I feared for our lives in Guatemala."

She crossed the border and claimed asylum but says she and Mariee were "locked in a freezing cold cage for a few days," then moved to an ICE detention center, when her daughter became ill.

"I begged the doctors and medical staff to give her the care I knew she needed but they didn't," the mother said.  "When ICE finally released us, I took Mariee... to a doctor and then to the emergency room. But it was too late. Mariee never left the hospital."

"The world should know," she said. "It can't be so hard for a country like the United States to protect kids who are locked up." The mother testified at the House Committee on Oversight and Reform that was examining treatment of refugees in US.

On Monday, the chief of the UN human rights body said she was "deeply shocked" by conditions under which migrants and refugees are held at US detention centers.

The Department of Homeland Security's watchdog released a report last week that warned of "dangerous overcrowding" in multiple centers holding thousands of migrants seeking to remain in the United States.

Most are fleeing violence and poverty in Central America.

(With inputs from AFP and Reuters)

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USA Detains 104,344 Immigrants Deemed Inadmissible

Washington, Jul 10 (Prensa Latina) American authorities apprehended and described 104,344 immigrants at US-Mexico border as inadmissible in June, Customs and Border Protection Office announced.

This figure represents a 28 percent drop compared to May, and the agreement signed with Mexico directly influenced in the result.

Through this instrument, negotiated under pressure by US President Donald Trump's threat to impose tariffs on Mexican products, the neighboring nation agreed to host asylum seekers in the United States, while the cases are analyzed.

The number of families crossing in May was 144,278, a record high figure since Trump took office on January 20, 2017. He intends obsessively through criticized policies to reduce immigration to his country.

There was also no higher monthly number than that reported in 13 years, although these indicators exceeded in March and April about 100,000 (103,729 and 109,474, respectively).

Tuesday's information about June noted that apprehension reduction responds to the decrease in figures in all groups mentioned.

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Mexico sends 15,000 troops to US border in all-out push to halt migrant tide & avoid Trump's tariffs

Mexico has sent nearly 15,000 troops to its northern border, announcing a crackdown on illegal crossings and caving in to President Donald Trump’s threats to impose punitive tariffs unless it cuts the flow of migrants into the US.

The troops take on the task of preventing illegal border-crossings, apprehending violators and turning them over to the National Institute of Migration, the government body tasked with overseeing and controlling migration. The massive deployment to the 1,954-mile US border complements an additional 2,000 troops sent south, to the border with Guatemala and Belize, where they join the 4,500 troops already stationed there.

Also on rt.com Mexico begins roll-out of troops along its southern border following Trump’s tariff threat...

Given that (undocumented) migration is not a crime but rather an administrative violation, we simply detain them and turn them over to the [migration] authorities,” Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval told reporters at a press conference on Monday. “If we left it in the hands of the National Institute of Migration, it wouldn’t be possible.” The president of the Institute resigned earlier this month, just a week after President Andrés Manuel López Obrador reached a deal with the US to crack down on illegal immigration, amid reports the agency is overwhelmed and under-budgeted. 

Sandoval acknowledged that the practice of detaining migrants attempting to cross into the US represented a new, stricter border policy, and affirmed that the military is working with the Migration Institute on both borders. Over 132,000 migrants were apprehended at the US-Mexico border in May, the highest total in 13 years, and nearly 600,000 have been caught in fiscal year 2019.

Under a “deal” presented by US President Donald Trump earlier this month, Mexico was given 45 days to prove it was serious about stemming the flow of illegal immigrants into the US. Absent unspecified “results,” Trump has threatened to impose a 5 percent tariff that could escalate to 25 percent if the problem is not addressed. The Mexican government is working with the governments of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to limit the flow of migrants from those countries, while the US Department of Homeland Security reportedly sent dozens of agents to Guatemala to “disrupt and interdict human smuggling operations” along the country’s border with Mexico.

Also on rt.com ISIS plotted to infiltrate US through Mexican border – prisoner...

Migrants already in the US received a temporary reprieve this weekend after Trump called off promised deportation raids to see if Democrats and Republicans could set aside their differences and “work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border.” With migrant detention facilities severely overcrowded and inflammatory rhetoric comparing them to “concentration camps” being flung about, the stakes are high, though Mexico has promised as part of the deal struck earlier this month to take back illegals awaiting their asylum hearings in the US.

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U.S.-Mexico migration talks continue as tariff deadline looms

U.S. President Donald Trump has warned that tariffs of 5% will be imposed on all Mexican exports to the United States on Monday if Mexico does not step up efforts to stem an increase in mostly Central American migrants heading for the U.S. border.

“As negotiations continued yesterday, we were more encouraged that they came forward with some of the things we put on the table Wednesday to say they were open to that,” Marc Short, chief of staff to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, told reporters outside the White House.

Short added that the Trump administration planned to move forward with a legal notification of its planned 5% tariff on Mexican goods. “You should anticipate that happening today,” he said.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said while the meetings had gone well, “we’re still on track for tariffs on Monday.”

Trump, who has railed against what he describes as a surge of migrants across the U.S.-Mexico border, will have the final say over any deal, Pence said on Thursday. Pence also said progress had been made in the talks but gave no specifics.

Trump is returning to Washington on Friday after a week-long trip to Europe.

The U.S. president has threatened to continue raising the tariffs on Mexico after the initial levies go into effect on June. 10 if a migration deal fails to materialize.

Mexico, whose economy is heavily dependent on trade with the United States, is scrambling to avoid such a scenario.

“It’s a good sign that talks have not broken down,” Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told reporters in Mexico City. “There is dialogue and an agreement can be reached. I’m optimistic we can achieve that.”

Lopez Obrador, however, said it was a mistake for the United States to link migration with trade.

Mexico has prepared a list of possible retaliatory tariffs targeting U.S. products from agricultural and industrial states regarded as Trump’s electoral base, a tactic China has also used with an eye toward the president’s 2020 re-election bid.

That would put the United States in a serious trade dispute with its southern neighbor and China - two of its three top trading partners.

The United States slapped up to 25% tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports last month, prompting Beijing to levy its own tariffs on a revised target list of $60 billion in American goods.

Trump said on Thursday he would decide later this month whether to carry out his threat to hit Beijing with tariffs on at least $300 billion in Chinese goods.

U.S. officials officially granted Chinese exporters two more weeks to get their products into the United States before increasing tariffs on those items, according to a U.S. government notice posted online on Friday.

OPPOSITION

U.S. business groups are generally opposed to the escalation of the trade tensions, warning that the tariffs will raise costs for companies and lead to higher prices for American consumers. Trump’s fellow Republicans also are not keen on the tariffs.

Economists warn that the trade wars could damage key supply lines and lead to a further slowdown of the global economy. Even the United States, one of the more solid performers on the economic stage, would suffer.

The U.S. Labor Department reported on Friday that job growth slowed sharply in May and wages rose less than expected, raising fears that a loss of momentum in economic activity could be spreading to the labor market.

Global equities rose on Friday on the prospect that central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, would loosen monetary policy to offset trade frictions and the threat of global recession.

Analysts warn that tariffs could spark a recession in Mexico. Credit ratings agency Fitch downgraded Mexico’s sovereign debt rating on Wednesday, citing trade tensions among other risks, while Moody’s lowered its outlook to negative.

Ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, Trump is eager to show progress on his 2016 campaign pledges to take a hard line on immigration. Apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border hit a decade high in May.

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Mexican president expects deal with U.S. over immigration

MEXICO CITY/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday said he expects to reach a deal with the United States over immigration before Washington carries out its threat to enact punitive tariffs.

U.S. President Donald Trump says he will impose a tariff on all Mexican goods beginning June 10 if Mexico does not halt a surge in immigrants, mostly from Central America, crossing into the United States from Mexico.

Trump said on Tuesday that he thinks it is more likely the tariffs will be applied and that talks would continue during that time.

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Vigilantes or patriots? FBI arrests head of militia rounding up illegal migrants at US border

Federal agents have detained the head of New Mexico’s people’s militia group, whose volunteer forces have ‘helped’ US border agents detain hundreds of illegal immigrants along the US-Mexico border, for illegal possession of arms.

Larry Mitchell Hopkins, who runs the United Constitutional Patriots (UCP) was arrested on Saturday on charges of possessing firearms and ammunition as a convicted felon, the FBI said. No other information was shared with the public. The 69-year-old is due to appear in US District Court in Las Cruces, New Mexico on Monday.

Also on rt.com US militia hunting illegal migrants is cut from crowdfunding for ‘promoting hate & discrimination’...

“This is a dangerous felon who should not have weapons around children and families,” New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas stated.

Today’s arrest by the FBI indicates clearly that the rule of law should be in the hands of trained law enforcement officials, not armed vigilantes.

The militia, made up mostly of veterans armed with guns and other tactical gear, had volunteered to help the Border Patrol agents deal with a wave of immigrants in the vicinity of Sunland Park, New Mexico until President Trump’s wall is built there. Their tactics, however, triggered a massive backlash as they were seen chasing down suspected illegals and holding them at gunpoint before surrendering them to US authorities.

Also on rt.com Citizen’s arrest or kidnapping? US militias told to stand down after catching 300+ migrants (VIDEOS)...

This week, Hopkin’s ‘vigilante patriots’ detained nearly 300 people in the desert. Footage of what they call ‘citizen's arrests’ –and what critics denounce as simple ‘kidnapping’– showed a big crowd, including women and children kneeling on the ground waiting for government officers to pick them up.

United Constitutional Patriots New Mexico Border Ops more still flooding in...

While the group believes their harsh tactics are legal and necessary to stop what President Trump calls an “invasion” over the US southern border, UCP’s methods have not been welcomed by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who noted that “regular citizens have no authority to arrest or detain anyone.” Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union called them a “fascist militia” and demanded that authorities investigate the organization.

Also on rt.com Like immigrants? Here’s an 'unlimited supply’: Trump threatens to dump illegals in sanctuary cities

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Like immigrants? Here’s an 'unlimited supply’: Trump threatens to dump illegals in sanctuary cities

US President Donald Trump once again called on Democrats to support tighter immigration laws, threatening to dump “an unlimited supply” of illegal immigrants in so-called sanctuary cities to force a change.

“Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing illegal immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only,” the president tweeted on Friday, adding: “The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy – so this should make them very happy!”

Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only....

WH proposed releasing immigrant detainees in sanctuary cities, targeting political foes

The political retribution was proposed in November and again in February, but immigration authorities rejected the idea as inappropriate, rebuffing the White House.

 
 
 
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