A handful of long-time anti-illegal immigration activists showed up at the Guatemalan Consulate in San Bernardino Thursday morning with a plea: stop the caravan.
As some 3,000 Honduran asylum seekers travel to Guatemala on their way to Mexico, and eventually the United States, five activists visited with a representative from the consulate to hand-deliver a letter to Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales, asking him to halt the caravan.
“We have nothing against Central America. But what we want to see is these countries take care of their own citizens,” said Robin Hvidston, executive director of the Claremont-based We the People Rising, which has members from across Southern California.
“We hope we can be an influence in stopping the caravan before it proceeds further north,” Hvidston said afterwards.
“We want what is best for Guatemala and her citizens,” the letter states. But the United States must take care of their own first, it continued. “Our limited government resources must be reserved for our own needy citizens. Not foreign nationals.”
Vice Consul Leticia Pineda said her San Bernardino office will forward the letter to President Morales.
The caravan has become the latest political issue making headlines and taking space on President Donald Trump’s Twitter feed. Trump threatened to cut off aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador if the caravan is not stopped.
We have today informed the countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador that if they allow their citizens, or others, to journey through their borders and up to the United States, with the intention of entering our country illegally, all payments made to them will STOP (END)!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2018
The president next is turning to Mexico to ask “in the strongest of terms…to stop this onslaught — and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!” he twitted Thursday.
….In addition to stopping all payments to these countries, which seem to have almost no control over their population, I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught – and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2018
Mexico had already announced that caravan members would need to show a passport or visa. Luis Manuel Lopez Moreno, Mexico’s ambassador to Guatemala, met with leaders of the caravan Wednesday and warned them that people caught without proper documentation in Mexico would be deported, the Associated Press reported.
Morales, Guatemala’s president, said Wednesday that while Central Americans are legally free to transit from country to country under a regional agreement, a “massive ingress of people without registering” puts Guatemala in a difficult position because it’s impossible to know who the people are and what may be the intentions of any of their leaders, the Associated Press reported.
Luis Arreaga, the U.S. ambassador to Guatemala, posted a video message on Twitter that he hopes will be seen by migrants considering entering the U.S. illegally.
“The border of the United States never has been controlled as it is now. If you try to enter the United States, you will be detained and deported,” Arreaga said in Spanish. Addressing those already en route, he added: “Return to your country. Your attempt to migrate will fail.”
— US Embassy Guatemala (@usembassyguate) October 17, 2018
Source: Orange County Register