The Trump administration on Wednesday praised the Mexican government for employing its military at its southern border with Guatemala to block thousands of Central American migrants from passing through on their way to the U.S.
“The efforts by the Mexican National Guard and other officials have thus far been effective at maintaining the integrity of their border, despite outbreaks of violence and lawlessness by people who are attempting to illegally enter Mexico on their way to the United States,” acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said in a statement on Wednesday. “DHS is monitoring the caravan closely, we have dozens of personnel on the ground in Central America assisting local immigration and security officials, which have already led to hundreds of individuals being stopped, apprehended and sent back to their home countries.”
A caravan of about 4,000 migrants, many fleeing poverty and violence in their home countries, began traveling from Honduras last week and clashed with Mexican authorities on Monday as they attempted to cross the Mexico-Guatemala border despite being denied in their requests to continue traveling toward the U.S. Some members of the group forced their way through a border gate while others waded through the shallow waters of the Suchiate River.
Mexican National Guard members, some in riot gear, have blocked the caravan from advancing further into Mexico.
“Appreciate the Government of Mexico’s commitment to enforcing safe, orderly and lawful migration. Mexico continues to be a true partner in addressing this regional crisis. I’m confident they will continue to stop, deny and impede the caravan,” Mark Morgan, the acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, wrote Tuesday on Twitter.
President Trump has also praised Mexico for promising to enhance its efforts to prevent the mass migration of undocumented immigrants north after the U.S. experienced a surge of asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border last spring.
“We are very happy with the job they are doing,” Trump said over the summer.