President Donald Trump threatened to deploy the military and close the southern US border on Thursday as Hondurans and Salvadorans joined thousands of migrants in Guatemala hoping to travel north, Reuters reported.
“I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught - and if unable to do so I will call up the US Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Several thousand Honduran migrants moved this week through Guatemala, and some were trying to cross to Mexico on Thursday, according to local media. Some hope to eventually enter the United States to escape violence and poverty in Central America.
Central American migrants hiked from Honduras through muddy jungle and residential streets, some toting babies along with backpacks, Reuters images show.
In Guatemala City, where migrant shelters filled with people, waves of people departed at daybreak on roads leading to Mexico. The nearest border is about 110 miles (177 km) away.
“If we don’t get across, we’re going to try the same thing again,” said Gustavo Perez, a builder from Honduras, speaking at a shelter in Guatemala City.
“We hope that in this big caravan group, they let us in,” he added, referring to the United States.
Mexico’s peso weakened more than 1.5 percent against the dollar on Thursday, partly driven by Trump’s comments, analysts said.