migrant caravan

Updated at 5:13 p.m. ET

President Trump's call to cut aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras is raising concerns among lawmakers and national security and development experts, who say cutting aid will exacerbate the migrant crisis that is already crippling U.S. resources at the Southern border.

For three days last week, thousands of Guatemalans blocked roads and major highways to protest the Central American country's slide toward a constitutional crisis. The protest organizers included groups that have long demanded justice: indigenous communities and campesinos, as rural and farm workers are called.

Updated Thursday at 5:35 p.m. ET

"Hitting a woman for a man is as normal as eating a tortilla from a food stand on the way to work," said Karen Paz, 34, from San Pedro Sula in Honduras, revealing a scar from a burn on her left shoulder. "He wanted to burn my face, but my daughter started screaming when she saw him taking the pan with boiling butter. She pushed him, and so he aimed for the arm instead."

Jim Wyss / Miami Herald

The spotlight remains on immigration policy in the United States, as President Trump continues calls for a wall on the southern border. As the debate continues over how to best handle the hundreds of migrants who attempt to enter the nation’s southern border each day, some former government officials are questioning whether the United States can take cues from Latin America.    

In the wake of the death of a second migrant child in U.S. custody within the past two weeks, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced on Wednesday the government is calling on several federal agencies to help U.S. Customs and Border Protection implement a host of new directives intended to improve how it cares for children and adults held in federal facilities.

"In response to the unprecedented surge of children into our custody, I have directed a series of extraordinary protective measures," Nielsen said in a statement.

When José Aguilar, a Honduran-born resident of Tijuana, Mexico, heard that a caravan of mostly Honduran migrants was headed to the border city, he knew he had to do something.

Seven years ago, Aguilar moved to Tijuana after bouncing between the United States, Mexico and Honduras for two decades. Once settled, he opened a restaurant called Honduras 504. People often call it just 504 or Catracho 504, using the informal demonym Hondurans call each other and their country code.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that effective Tuesday morning it will close four vehicle lanes at the Southern border with Mexico at Tijuana to prepare for the migrants working their way north to the United States.

The travelers have said they plan to ask for asylum.

Three northbound lanes will be closed at San Ysidro and another lane at Otay Mesa will also be closed to install "port hardening infrastructure equipment," the agency said in a statement.

With days to go before the midterm elections, President Trump continues to ratchet up his rhetoric on immigration. The president's latest target is asylum-seekers, whom he accuses of exploiting "loopholes" in U.S. immigration laws.

A federal judge in California is allowing a lawsuit against the Trump administration's practice of separating migrant families at the border to proceed.

"Such conduct, if true, is brutal, offensive, and fails to comport with traditional notions of fair play and decency," wrote U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw of the Southern District of California in his ruling on Wednesday.

A Personal Testimony Of The Migrant Caravan

May 17, 2018

Caravans of migrants have been organized for over a decade now. However, it wasn't until 2014 that people came together and organized a migrant caravan from the border of Guatemala and Mexico to the U.S.-Mexico border. Besides banding together to migrate in a much safer way, these caravans are mostly driven by a common theme or goal, whether as assistance to those affected by the earthquakes in Oaxaca and Mexico City or in solidarity with those already traversing the country aboard freight trains in search of a new life in the U.S. or Mexico.

Felix Marquez / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

I’ve learned to think like President Trump. That should probably scare the hell out of me, but journalists get paid for that kind of thing.

It was Tuesday when I knew I was finally on the same page with the man. That’s because my head didn’t do a 360 like Linda Blair’s in “The Exorcist” when he said he was thinking of cutting off U.S. aid to Honduras.