A caravan of 3,000 migrants is moving north through Central America and toward the U.S. southern border — on a collision course with the midterm elections, as yet another factor that could sway voters.
“I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught — and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!,” President Trump tweeted yesterday.
A day earlier, he tweeted, “Hard to believe that with thousands of people from South of the Border, walking unimpeded toward our country in the form of large Caravans, that the Democrats won’t approve legislation that will allow laws for the protection of our country. Great Midterm issue for Republicans!”
Democratic consultant Scott Ferson told the Herald he takes Trump at his word.
“It’s red meat for the right-wing Republican base,” Ferson said. “It plays on fear and that works — and no one knows that better than Donald Trump.”
The thousands of Hondurans are making their way through Guatemala, headed toward Mexico and, if they’re allowed through, plan to head onward to the U.S., as the contentious midterm elections approach Nov. 6.
“Midterm elections are primarily about which party can better turn out its base, and there is no single issue in 2018 that fires up the GOP base like illegal immigration,” GOP analyst Ford O’Connell told the Herald, saying it’s one of a handful of issues that can help the Republicans keep control of the Senate and possibly the House.
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.
Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies, an organization that opposes illegal immigration, said, “I’m inclined to think that Mexico will make some effort to break it up. Trump is saying if they don’t behave like a good neighbor it will effect our bilateral relationship.”
But Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice told the Herald the asylum process is thorough and people should not fear those coming into the country.
“They have the right to seek asylum at the border,” Espinoza-Madrigal said.
Herald wire services contributed to this report.