Donald Trump

Washington: US President Donald Trump threatened on Thursday to use the military to close the border with Mexico if a caravan of thousands of Honduran migrants bound for the US continues its journey.

In a series of tweets, Trump said the caravan was Democratic Party-led, claimed that many of the migrants were criminals and urged Mexico to intervene to stop the group from reaching the border.

“If (Mexico is) unable to do so I will call up the US military and close our southern border!..” the President said.

Trump has threatened in recent days to immediately halt foreign aid to the Honduran, Guatemalan and Salvadoran governments if they do not put an end to the latest flow of migrants.

Organizers say the people who make up the caravan are fleeing violence and poverty, according to the US media. 

Trump also criticized the leaders of those three Central American countries, saying they were “doing little to stop this large flow of people, including many criminals, from entering Mexico to the US”.

He also claimed the Democrats were behind the caravan “because they want open borders and existing weak laws”, an accusation he has repeatedly levelled since taking office in January 2017.

A first group of migrants taking part in the caravan arrived on Wednesday at Guatemala’s border with Mexico, according to the Episcopal Conference of Guatemala’s National Office of Human Mobility Pastoral.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said on Wednesday that the “massive” influx of Honduran migrants posed a risk to the country and its inhabitants, adding that with the help of international organizations he was trying to ascertain the group’s intentions.

In addition to the caravan of Honduran migrants that set out on Saturday (a group of 3,000 people, according to the UN), a second large group of migrants left that same Central American country bound for the US on Tuesday.

The Salvadoran government said it had allowed “415 Hondurans” belonging to that second caravan to enter its territory on Wednesday, although hundreds of other people also make up that same group.