Jeff Flake: Trump Wrong to 'Emphasize Criminals' Among Caravan

Jeff Flake: Trump Wrong to 'Emphasize Criminals' Among Caravan

Jeff Flake: Trump Wrong to 'Emphasize Criminals' Among Caravan

After President Donald Trump suggested Monday that he would block foreign aid to three Central American countries in retaliation for a caravan of thousands of migrants who are trekking north towards the U.S. -Mexico border, retiring Republican Senator Jeff Flake questioned the wisdom of such a response.

Caravan leaders have not defined the precise route or decided where on the USA border they want to arrive, but in recent years most Central American migrants traveling on their own have opted for a more direct route that took them to Reynosa, across the border from McAllen. "Sadly, it looks like Mexico's Police and Military are unable to stop the Caravan heading to the Southern Border of the United States", Mr Trump tweeted. Donald Trump said on Monday that his country will begin cutting off or reducing aid to three countries in Central America, citing migrant caravan heading to the US border.

Trump also said, without providing evidence, that "Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners" are mixed in with the caravan, a claim immigration advocates disputed. But many later crossed the river below in makeshift rafts before marching north.

The migrants, many of them with blistering and bandaged feet, left the southern city of Tapachula under a burning sun bound for Huixtla about 25 miles (40 kilometers) away.

"We're a little afraid the police could detain us".

Carlos Leonidas Garcia Urbina, a 28-year-old from Tocoa, Honduras, said he was cutting the grass in his father's yard when he heard about the caravan, dropped the shears right there on the ground and ran to join with just 500 lempiras ($20) in his pocket.

She had already been walking for 13 days, with a friend and her baby.

"But we live with more fear in our country, so we carry on".

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Other activists accused Trump of using the caravan to score political points. He said Mexico would seek to boost investment in Central America to slow the flow of migrants.

Late Sunday, authorities in Guatemala said another group of about 1,000 migrants had entered that country from Honduras. Unlike past caravans that were organized mostly in Mexico, this one started spontaneously in Honduras with about 160 people leaving from the gang-plagued city of San Pedro Sula.

In Honduras alone, agricultural investments by the U.S. Agency for International Development "have helped lift 68,000 people out of extreme poverty", according to the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, a group advocating for stronger international assistance.

Numerous migrants are fleeing poverty and insecurity in Honduras, where powerful street gangs rule their turf with brutal violence.

U.S. administrations have long seen aid programmes as an essential part of efforts to stabilize the countries of Central America and stem the flow of migrants leaving.

"No one is capable of organizing this many people".

It went from $750 million in 2016 to $655 million last year, and is on track to fall to $615 million this year, according to the Washington Office on Latin America.

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