In one of the latest developments, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has pledged that the US would turn back the caravan of migrants en route from Central America to the US southern border.
"The United States also has a message for those who are currently part of this caravan or any caravan which follows: You will not be successful at getting into the United States illegally, no matter what. I repeat, the caravan will not cross our southern border under any circumstances," Pompeo told a US State Department briefing.
No 'Massive Foreign Aid'
Earlier, US President Donald Trump vowed to cut off US aid to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala over their failure to stop migrants from leaving their countries to come illegally to the United States.
"We will now begin cutting off, or substantially reducing, the massive foreign aid routinely given to them," Trump tweeted without elaborating.
The three countries reportedly received a combined sum of more than $500 million in funding from the US in fiscal year 2017.
Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the U.S. We will now begin cutting off, or substantially reducing, the massive foreign aid routinely given to them.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 22 октября 2018 г.
The migrants from the caravan were cited by The Washington Post and The New York Times as saying that they merely wanted to find work in the US — something that cannot be seen as a legitimate reason for obtaining refugee status.
Apart from the governments of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, Trump also pointed the finger at the US Democrats, who he claimed "are paying members of the caravan to try and get into the US to harm Republicans in the [upcoming] midterms."
"A lot of money has been passing to people to come up and try and get to the border by election day, because they think that's a negative for us […] They have lousy policy[…] they wanted that caravan, and there are those that say that caravan didn't just happen. It didn't just happen."Tramp told a rally in Montana.
He also argued that the Democrats "openly invite" scores of illegal aliens to the US so that they could violate the country's borders and laws.
BREAKING: Footage in Honduras giving cash 2 women & children 2 join the caravan & storm the US border @ election time. Soros? US-backed NGOs? Time to investigate the source! pic.twitter.com/5pEByiGkkN— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) 17 октября 2018 г.
Trump was echoed by Republican Matt Gates, who posted a video on Twitter showing unknown people allegedly handing money to people in Honduras for a trip to the US.
Actor James Woods, one of the few Hollywood celebrities who openly supports Trump and the Republicans, also expressed doubt on his Twitter page that the appearance of this caravan was spontaneous, linking it to the forthcoming midterm elections.
Oh, and the “spontaneous” mob would have to walk 20 miles a day for a hundred consecutive days, without rest, to get here. That’s over three months obviously, and yet I guarantee they will all miraculously appear at our border right at midterm election week. #FakeInvasion https://t.co/CninzLIbNA— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) 22 октября 2018 г.
'Blessing in Disguise'
Meanwhile, Juan Jose Gutierrez, executive director of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition, has told Sputnik that he has no doubt that news of the caravan is "a blessing in disguise" for the US Republican Party.
"I believe that this immigrant caravan has been transformed into one giant political commercial for congressional Republicans trying to get reelected and retain control of Congress," he said.
He claimed that the caravan aims to do "the job of rallying the Republican base, rebranding undocumented immigrants as criminals, and it's making the argument to build the US-Mexico border wall for Donald Trump."
"And, of course, it allows Donald Trump and the Republicans to directly attack the Democrats and blame them for the state of chaos of our immigration policy […] no doubt about it, this is great news for the Republicans," Gutierrez concluded.
Progressive Healthcare Activist Dr. Bill Honigman, in turn, suggested that the migrant caravan will most likely be "in the backs of people's minds" when they cast ballots in midterm elections on November 6.
In an interview with Sputnik, Michael R. Shannon, a political commentator and Newsmax and Cagle Syndicate columnist, author of the book "A Conservative Christian's Guidebook for Living in Secular Times," claimed that the US "is being invaded" by the caravan of migrants.
"If they wanted to apply for asylum, all the countries they are from have councilors there and they could apply for asylum in their own nations. This is simply a slow-motion invasion," Shannon said.
Rodolfo Pastor, a spokesman for the Opposition Alliance of Honduras, suggested that it was a political crisis in Central America that prompted the migrant caravan to make its way towards the US.
"The Hondurans are ones of the most hurt people in Central America. It's not surprising that they resort to migration to try to survive and seek the opportunities denied by their country of origin," Pastor noted.