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Trump makes migrant caravan an election issue

by Harvest Prude
Posted 10/19/18, 12:39 pm

President Donald Trump is framing the 4,000-strong migrant caravan amassing at the Mexico-Guatemala border and hoping to reach the United States as a crucial issue ahead of midterm elections. At a campaign rally Thursday night in Missoula, Mont., the president said midterms, less than a month away, would be “an election of [recently confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett] Kavanaugh, the caravan, law and order, and common sense.”

Trump continued to call for building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, pointing to the caravan as an example of its need. He voiced a theory that the large group of migrants from Honduras may be in some way backed by anti-Republican donors, saying it’s possible that “a lot of money has been passing through people to try to get to the border by Election Day, because they think that is a negative for us.”

The caravan set out Saturday from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, its numbers snowballing as many joined to flee poverty and gang violence. Most of the travelers, lacking passports, want to apply for refugee status in the United States. On Thursday, the president threatened to send troops to the southern U.S. border if Mexico did not halt the caravan in time. Trump also ratcheted up pressure on El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala by threatening Tuesday to cut U.S. aid if they allowed the migrants to travel through their countries illegally.

Caravan members are waiting on the Guatemala side of the Suchiate River and are expected to attempt to cross either on foot over a bridge, which is patrolled by Guatemalan police, or via rafts in the river on Friday. Mexico has deployed at least two busloads of police to its side of the river. At the rally in Montana, Trump praised Mexico’s attempts to stop the mass migration.

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Harvest Prude

Harvest is a political reporter for WORLD's Washington Bureau. She is a World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College graduate. Harvest resides in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter @HarvestPrude.

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  • JerryM
    Posted: Sat, 10/20/2018 11:32 pm

    Like him or not, this is an issue.  We can be compassionate but we also need common sense and law and order.  The democrats approach this issue through a combination of rose colored glasses and as a strategic effort to increase their voter base.  I predict the caravan will play significantly into republican's hands.  

  • VISTA48
    Posted: Mon, 10/29/2018 07:20 am

    To me, this IS a critical issue. For far too long, we have endured illegal immigration almost exclusively from the viewpoint of the illegal immigrants. The taxpayers, citizens and communities are also affected, but seem to have little or no representation. When we object to the lawlessness, we are often portrayed as hateful zenophobic bigots. Thank you, Mr. President for understanding that we, too, have a dog in the fight. The reality for most of us is that we are weary of funding the chaos. Do we need to change some immigration law? Probably, so let's get to it. Congress (both sides) has dodged their responsibility in that regard. The answer, however, is not to ignore existing immigration laws to the detriment of the citizenry. Any politician or public official who advocates otherwise should be out of a job. Those who will intentionally break the law to get what they want are not very good candidates for either leaders OR citizens.