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President Trump threatened Thursday to summon the military to close the U.S. -Mexico border and upend a trade deal, expressing mounting frustration with a large caravan of migrants from Honduras making its way toward the United States.

Pompeo told VOA Contributor Greta Van Susteren on Friday that Mexican officials want to create a situation where migrants "understand that it is not fruitful to transit though Mexico into the United States".

But experts on refugees say those moves are unlikely to stop this caravan or stem future ones, since the migrants are primarily driven by conditions in their home countries, not USA policy.

Asked in the Televisa interview whether Mexico was doing Trump's "dirty work", Videgaray said Mexico "defines its migration policy in a sovereign manner" and the country's priority is to protect the migrants and ensure their human rights. "Nobody is going to stop us!"

The Mexican consulate in Guatemala published a statement saying immigrants who wish to enter Mexico must have "travel documents and a visa" and that those who "enter into the country in an irregular manner" will be returned "to their country of origin, in a secure and orderly manner".

The exhausted migrants - mostly from Honduras and Guatemala - slept under rainy skies on the streets and in a park in the border town of Tecún Umán, where the shelter for migrants and a local Catholic parish were filled to capacity.

The issue of immigration is certain to be on the agenda Friday when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to meet with outgoing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

One migrant said: 'One way or another, we will pass'.

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Thousands of migrants rush across the border towards Mexico, in Tecun Uman, Guatemala. Later that day he tweeted a video of Mexican federal police deploying at the Guatemalan border and wrote: "Thank you Mexico, we look forward to working with you!"

On Friday morning, however, Mexican officials, including the country's ambassador to Guatemala, circulated through the crowds of migrants, appealing for order and inviting them to present themselves at the border one by one, where they would be processed by migration authorities.

"We are going to the United States!" he said.

But Marcelo Ebrard, who has been picked as Mexico's next foreign minister, downplayed the comments and said Trump was appealing to his domestic political base.

Mexico's government has sought assistance from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to help process migrants claiming refugee status at the border, which could allow it to disperse the train of people and placate Mr. Trump.

There - at the far end of the bridge over the Suchiate River, which forms the western part of the Mexico-Guatemala border - they hurled rocks and other objects at hundreds of riot police, who responded with rubber bullets and tear gas.

The countdown is on for the arrival of what has come to be known as the "Honduran caravan" - an estimated 4,000 men, women, children and infants who left the troubled Honduran city of Pedro Sula last weekend on foot and by truck. In his tweets Thursday, he warned that the latest group includes "MANY CRIMINALS".

U.S. Representative Michael McCaul, the Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said U.S. border security was a key election issue.


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