Trump threatens to use military to close Mexican border

Mexico sends federal forces to its southern border as migrant caravan heads north

Pompeo's arrival in Latin America comes amid tensions over a caravan of thousands of Honduran migrants heading through Guatemala to Mexico with the hope of reaching the United States.

In morning tweets, Trump repeated vows to stop US aid to Central American countries that do not disband the caravan and issued a fresh threat to the Mexican government, which said Wednesday that it would treat those in the caravan no differently than it does other migrants.

In his string of tweets, Mr Trump also said the migrant issue was more important to him than the new trade deal with Mexico to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement pact.

In part, the response is meant to both dissuade the migrants from even attempting to enter Mexico and potentially to show the Trump administration that Mexico is willing to, as the government put it, "maintain order".

Frustrated by Congress' failure to fully fund his proposed wall at the border with Mexico, Trump in April ordered National Guard personnel to help secure the border in four southwestern us states.

On the Mexican side, the foreign ministry said its government was in constant communication with members of the caravan explaining the migrants' options.

Trump has frequently portrayed undocumented immigrants to the United States as a criminal threat and in league with Democrats - a tactic also adopted by many Republican candidates in the ongoing mid-term election campaign.

Trump said Mexico should do more to stop the caravans that were coming from Central America and if that didn't happen, "I will call up the U.S. Military and close our southern border".

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"Republicans must make the horrendous, weak and outdated immigration laws, and the Border, a part of the Midterms!" he tweeted Wednesday.

The Mexican government will ask the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, for help in coordinating an overflowing wave of refugees arriving from on its southern border from Central American countries. But he did not follow through on a similar threat to cut aid to Honduras in April over an earlier caravan, which eventually petered out in Mexico.

No evidence of criminal affiliations among the migrants screened or interviewed by reporters in the area has emerged so far.

Mexico's Ambassador to Guatemala, Luis Manuel Lopez Moreno, met with leaders of the caravan Wednesday and warned them that Hondurans caught without papers in Mexico would be deported.

And, much like Guatemala and Honduras, Mexico is itself a country of many migrants, raising the question of whether the political will exists for a confrontation.

Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who takes office on December 1, wants to avoid repression against migrants and also avoid angering the United States.

They apparently clashed and "yelled at each other" about the Department of Homeland Security and how it was stopping migrants getting into the US.

"Mexico also issued a very clear statement saying if somebody is seeking asylum, Mexico is there along now with the U.N.to look at those claims, we want to make sure those claims are legitimate". The caravan, fairly compact in recent days, has dispersed a bit, with different bands of people seen walking together in a line, some boarding buses or trying to hitch rides. By some estimates, it now contains more than 3,000 people. He also suggested that it could jeopardize a revamped trade deal with Mexico and Canada, which is waiting to be signed by each country's leader.

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