Migrants, troops slowly build up on Guatemala-Mexico border

Migrant caravan
Posted at 8:10 AM, Jan 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-18 16:11:34-05

(AP) — Mexican authorities have closed a border entry point in southern Mexico after thousands of Central American migrants tried to push their way across a bridge spanning the Suchiate River between Mexico and Guatemala.

Normally migrants who want to request asylum in Mexico are allowed to cross the bridge. But many of migrants prefer to pass through Mexico en route to the U.S., which has repeatedly asked Mexico to impede their arrival.

As the crowd swelled on the bridge, amid shoves, Mexican officials allowed several dozen migrants to enter the country in groups of 20.

Mexico's government has said that migrants entering the country without registering will not be allowed to pass from the border area. But those seeking asylum or other protections will be allowed to apply and legalize their status.

Guatemala tells the Associated Press they've counted more than 3,000 migrants who have registered at border crossings recently, but there were more migrants who haven't registered.

Francisco Garduño, commissioner of Mexico’s National Immigration Institute, told the AP the migrants would not cross any farther.

“They cannot enter because it would be in violation of the law,” he told the AP, adding there are “sufficient” troops to hold order in the area.