Immigrant caravan sparks Trump threat to cut aid to Honduras

Kenny Grant
October 17, 2018

Back in April, a "caravan" of immigrants marching across Central America toward the U.S. border drew the attention of President Trump.

The latest caravan was launched a day after Vice President Pence urged the presidents of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to persuade their citizens not to enter the United States illegally.

"The United States has strongly informed the President of Honduras that if the large Caravan of people heading to the not stopped and brought back to Honduras, no more money or aid will be given to Honduras, effective immediately", Trump tweeted Tuesday.

The vast amount of Hondurans set foot to the USA only days after Vice President Mike Pence asked Central American leaders to halt immigration. Trump said on Twitter.

Guatemalan police officers watch as Honduran migrants, part of a caravan trying to reach the US, arrive in Esquipulas city in Guatemala, October 15, 2018.

This week's venture comes after US Vice President Mike Pence promised US backing to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador on Thursday in return for their help with curbing migration and gang violence.

"Tell your people: Don't put your families at risk by taking the unsafe journey north to attempt to enter the United States illegally", Pence said.

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Pence addressed the three leaders on Thursday in Washington, at the Conference for Prosperity and Security in Central America.

The caravan of at least 1,600 crossed Monday into Guatemala, chanting "yes we can" as they defied the Guatemalan governments orders to stop.

Honduras is one of a dwindling number of countries that still has formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

The group of more than 2,000 Hondurans began their journey in San Pedro Sula, 180 north of Tegucigalpa, headed for the Guatemalan border.

Thousands of migrants have fled Honduras and other Central American nations in an effort to escape the poverty and violence that has engulfed their homelands.

Many in the caravan traveled light, with just backpacks and bottles of water. Then it's on to Mexico and possibly the United States, though if history holds, numerous migrants will break off and remain in Central America. Guatemalan police initially blocked the migrants, but the group was ultimately able to cross, according to Reuters.

But U.S. officials - and President Trump - warned the marchers.

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