On Monday, around 3,500 migrants from a Central American caravan tried to force its way through the National Guardsmen positioned on the Mexican side of the Suchiate River, which divides Mexico with Guatemala.
According to AFP, Mexican security forces used tear gas to repel the migrants who were fording the river. Some migrants pelted the police officers with stones, while the latter took cover behind riot shields.
Migrants clash with security forces as hundreds wade across river to enter Mexico https://t.co/RPatbflzmE— ↟ 𝕒 𝔻 𝕖 𝕃 𝕖 ↟ (@JoyceHermit) January 20, 2020
NEW: Mexican authorities clashed with hundreds of Central American migrants after they waded through a river to cross into Mexico from Guatemala, with Mexico deploying National Guard troops to stop the caravan as they attempt to reach the United States. https://t.co/YOrQckXICH pic.twitter.com/vzeovPzB5n— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) January 20, 2020
"They're trying to trick us. They tell us to register (with the authorities), but then they deport us", a migrant said, as quoted by AFP. "I'm asking Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to consider his conscience", he added.
The national guardsmen managed to stop most of the migrants, but dozens of them broke through the police cordon. Later, about 200 of those who made it through were taken into custody, AFP reported citing local authorities.
In June, US President Donald Trump announced that the United States and Mexico had reached a deal under which Washington would abandon earlier plans to impose tariffs on Mexican goods in a bid to stop the migrant influx. The deal stipulates that Mexico will deploy its National Guard to its southern border and work to dismantle human smuggling networks.
Trump has called the surge of arrivals a crisis and declared a national emergency in February to secure funds to build a wall on the border with Mexico. Trump believes that the wall will prevent the massive influx of undocumented migrants and drug trafficking.
Previously, the president stated that the US healthcare system was being hit hard by uncompensated care and the government is making the problem worse by admitting thousands of immigrants who had not demonstrated any ability to pay for their healthcare costs. Immigrants should not further saddle the American taxpayers with higher costs, he added.
According to some US-based media, over one million migrants from Central and South America were said to have crossed the US border as illegal aliens in 2019.