In a third large wave, migrants from El Salvador made their way across the Guatemalan border Sunday on their long trek to the United States with assistance from the El Salvadorian government. This all happened as President Donald Trump deliberated with Defense Department officials to approve the movement of 5200 U.S. troops to the southern border in anticipation of the large migration of Central American people, according to Guatemalan and U.S. officials.
The roughly 1500 El Salvadorian, as well as Honduran migrants, who crossed the border this weekend were assisted by El Salvadorian government officials with an official map that provides directions for transit routes, free phone services, food depots and healthcare as they travel through Mexico to the U.S. border, Guatemalan officials told SaraACarter.com. The map titled “Mensajes Para Personas Migrantes” (Messages for the Migrant People) displays a male migrant with a backpack and baseball hat on the front cover and lists hundreds of stops along the routes that will provide services for the growing migrant wave.
The Department of Defense announced Monday that it would be deploying more than 5,000 U.S. troops to the border with Mexico under the mission, “Operation Faithful Patriot” to aid U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement as it prepares to handle the massive human flow.
According to Pentagon officials, approximately 1,800 troops will be sent to Texas, 1,200 to Arizona and 1,500 to California.
Defense officials have confirmed to reporters Monday that 800 troops have already arrived to the nearly 2,000 mile U.S. southern border to provide three unified command centers to aide with logistical support and other necessary support for federal law enforcement agencies already assigned to the border.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters Monday that the administration is considering several administrative actions with regard to the border and noted that Trump will do what “he deems necessary” in an effort to secure the border.
According to reports from the region the third wave began with roughly 300-plus Salvadorans in the capital of San Salvador on Sunday and picked up more migrants–many Hondurans–as they continued to Guatemala, according to officials. The total number of migrants heading to the United States has fluctuated between 7,000 and 14,000. Some reports suggest the migrant groups have broken up leading to lesser numbers, closer to 3,000 to 4,000 in total.
It’s been terrible in Mexico with so many people coming through
Narco-traffickers are also playing a role in the movement of migrants as they make their way through Mexico. Smugglers and human traffickers are taking advantage of the caravan and mixing their own groups into the system, as well as threatening the minors with payment for using their transit routes into the United States, western officials told this reporter. The Mexican government is also offering to work with the migrants offering jobs and possible asylum for those entering their nation from Honduras and El Salvador, according to reports.
“It’s been terrible in Mexico with so many people coming through,” said one Mexican aide worker by phone, who asked that she not be named due to the sensitivity of the situation. “It’s been difficult keeping up with the people. The facilities are limited and some are using the streets as toilets and the situation is dangerous for the children and women who are part of the migration.”
President Donald Trump stated on Twitter Monday, “Many gang members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border. Please Go back, you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process.”
Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border. Please go back, you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 29, 2018
The Guatemalan government rescued seven children from the second wave of migrants heading from Honduras into Guatemala last week, according to Guatemalan law enforcement and intelligence officials. The unaccompanied children, mainly young girls, were taken to a secure facility after officials discovered that they were not traveling with their parents, the officials said.
“Seven unaccompanied minors being smuggled in the caravan,” said a Guatemalan intelligence official. “Deplorable.”