Trump Approves 'Lethal Force' As Busloads Of Migrants Approach Border
In Tijuana, Mexico a border city just south of Carolina, about three thousand people have set up camp as they make their way towards the United States.
Overnight, buses carrying men, women, children and young families arrived at the camp, bringing hundreds more refugees in the already overcrowded space.
Most of them have made the dangerous month-long journey from Honduras in Central America by foot.
Others have navigated similar routes arriving from El Salvador and Guatemala.
Thousands have packed Tijuana and set up camp seeking to cross the nearby border into the U.S. to seek refuge.
But the Trump administration has painted a different picture of their journey.
The U.S. President has repeatedly denounced the approach of a caravan of migrants as an “invasion” and a threat to American national security.
In the last month the administration has sent more than 5000 U.S. troops to the border to help secure it.
Until this week these troops did not have the authority to protect immigration agents stationed along the U.S. border with Mexico.
But on Thursday, U.S. media reported that Trump issues an executive order authorising troops to use "lethal force" if necessary at the southern border.
Senior Lecturer at the University of Wollongong, Dr Luis Gómez Romero told 10 daily this was the first time in over a century that troops have been deployed to the border.
"The Trump administration has escalated this situation for the migrants who are walking towards Mexico," Romero said of what he described as an "extreme" executive order.
Most of the migrants have travelled by foot to the campsite and want to claim asylum when they reach America, after fleeing their homelands to escape gang violence and poverty, The Project's Hamish MacDonald, who is at the camp, told 10 News First.
U.S. President Donald Trump believes that within this travelling group are gangsters and other criminals who the U.S. don't want within their borders.
"There are a lot of CRIMINALS in the Caravan," Trump tweeted overnight.
"We will stop them. Catch and Detain!
Judicial Activism, by people who know nothing about security and the safety of our citizens, is putting our country in great danger. Not good!"
Only about 30 percent of the people there will ever accepted by the United States as refugees, MacDonald said.
How Did it Get to This
Many of the migrants left their homes in Honduras and beyond more than a month ago, choosing to travel together in a group due to safety concerns as they walked through often dangerous regions.
Honduras is the second poorest country in the Americas, with global statistics showing that around 60 percent of the population live on the poverty line, Romero told 10 daily.
"It's also an extremely violent country and that's basically why they're fleeing," he said.
Migration law in Mexico structured under the principle of congruence, according to Romero.
He explains that this means the Mexican government must treat immigrants in Mexico as it demands governments abroad to treat its own immigrants.
"The problem is that there is a gap between the reality and the law," Romero said.
Romero said the migrants were choosing to travel together in a caravan because of security concerns, citing heightened fears following the 2010 massacre of 72 immigrants by a criminal cartel, travelling in San Fernando.
The caravan became a hot point of controversy in the recent U.S. mid term elections with Republicans using the issue to strike fear into Americans of an 'invasion'.
The campaign tactic received massive backlash ahead of the vote with 'racist' ads taken off air and even a Fox News anchor going on an impassioned attack against the administration claiming the migrant caravan was a fabricated election ploy to cause public hysteria.
But by late October the town of Tijuana was overflowing with migrants causing clashes with locals.
Last week the United States closed off northbound traffic for several hours at the busiest border crossing with Mexico to install new security barriers on Monday.
Two pedestrian crossings at the San Ysidro crossing were also shut in a move apparently aimed at preventing any mass rush of migrants across the border.
The installation of movable, wire-topped barriers threatens to complicate life for Mexicans using San Ysidro, where about 110,000 people enter the U.S. every day in 40,000 vehicles.
Long lines backed up in Tijuana, where many people have to cross the border to work on the U.S. side.
But Romero believes the problem isn't solely that of Mexico. He told 10 daily that the United States has played a significant role in increasing instability in Honduras, particularly in their commentary after the 2009 coup in the country.
"The united states has played a role in the instability of these countries and it's literally walking back to the united state right now."
With CBS/ Featured Image: Getty