In El Salvador, approximately 2,000 migrants departed the national capital on foot in two groups headed towards Guatemala. They are bound for the United States, thus joining several groups of migrants from Central America who are heading to the U.S. border with Mexico. This comes despite news from the White House that 15,000 troops are being sent by the Defense Department to bolster units of the National Guard and Border Patrol. 

In El Salvador, two groups of men, women, and children left. Some children were pushed in strollers, while others were borne on the backs of their parents. On Sunday, a separate group of about 300 set off from the capital city, San Salvador, and headed towards the Guatemalan border. Some were seen on crutches or in wheelchairs. 

On Wednesday, Mexican Interior Minister Luis Navarrete said that the first group of migrants, which left Honduras in mid-October, number about 3,000 and are moving about 30 miles every day. Participants in that group, as well as local churches and charities, put the estimate much higher. “We’re now in an unprecedented situation in the country,” Navarrete told reporters in Mexico City. “This is not merely a caravan ... it’s a migratory exodus.” Migrants have told media outlets that they are fleeing hunger, criminality, and unemployment. 

President Donald Trump tweeted on Wednesday that Mexico should continue to discourage the migrants, who he described as “tough fighters.” Last week, one migrant was killed and several Mexican police officers were injured in clashes on the Mexican side of the international bridge that connects Guatemala to its neighbor at the town of Ciudad Hidalgo. Migrants, many of them masked, have been seen throwing rocks and gasoline bombs at police and overflying helicopters. Trump characterized them in his tweet at “tough fighters.” He tweeted, “Mexican soldiers hurt, were unable, or unwilling to stop Caravan. Should stop them before they reach our Border, but won’t!” 

Also on Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders praised Mexico for delaying the migrants, but told Fox News: “They can do more.”

Police estimated the two groups leaving San Salvador numbered around 1,000 each. One left around dawn, followed by the second later in the morning.

On October 26, political commentator Ann Coulter told show host Laura Ingraham on Fox News that the U.S. should invade Mexico and stop the migrants who are seeking asylum. Speaking on The Ingraham Angle, Coulter said that Trump has several options for halting the so-called caravan. “There’s so many things the President can do besides build the wall himself, he is the Commander-in Chief,” Coulter said. “The military can’t really do anything standing on our side of the border. What are they going to do, shoot the invaders?” She added that the U.S. did not ask permission to invade Iraq after 9/11. 

“But they could invade, they could go in ten yards into Mexico,” Coulter told Ingraham. “We didn’t ask for Iraq’s approval to go in, we didn’t ask for Afghanistan’s approval to go in. Other than sitting on oil, most of these Middle Eastern countries, they’re not going to kill Americans.”

In an interview with Spero News, Ira Mehlman of the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform (FAIR) suggested that Congress can help to stop the migrants. Saying that Trump should call Congress to address the crisis, Mehlman said that some of the glaring problems can be addressed with legislation. Mehlman said that asylum rules adopted under the Obama administration offered foreigners the possibility to seek asylum on the basis of generalized social breakdown in their homelands. He said that the “credible fear” that asylum applicants cite for admission to the country should be limited to political acts, not mere privation. 

Other actions Congress can take would be to allow for extended detention of family units. Congress can overrule a court settlement and a subsequent judicial ruling that limits detention of families with children to just 20 days, according to a release from FAIR. According to FAIR, Congress should pass a bill to allow family units to be detained together until their claim can be adjudicated
 

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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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