As some 3,000 Hondurans made their way through Guatemala, attention turned to Mexico, after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened Thursday to close the U.S.-Mexico border if authorities there fail to stop them — a nearly unthinkable move that would disrupt hundreds of thousands of legal freight, vehicle and pedestrian crossings each day.
With less than three weeks before the Nov. 6 midterm elections, Trump seized on the migrant caravan to make border security a political issue and energize his Republican base.
“I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught — and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!” Trump tweeted, adding that he blamed Democrats for what he called “weak laws!”
The threat followed another one earlier this week to cut off aid to Central American countries if the migrants weren’t stopped. Trump made a similar vow over another large migrant caravan in April, but didn’t follow through and it largely petered out in Mexico.
On Thursday, Mexico dispatched additional police to its southern border after the Casa del Migrante shelter on the Guatemalan side of the border reported that hundreds of Hondurans had already arrived there.
Apparently pleased with that response, in the evening Trump retweeted a BuzzFeed journalist’s tweet of a video clip showing the police deployment, adding his own comment: “Thank you Mexico, we look forward to working with you!”