MATIAS ROMERO, Mexico (Reuters) – Mexican officials on Tuesday screened a dwindling group of hundreds of largely Central American migrants who are moving through Mexico toward the United States, seeking to break up the “caravan” that has drawn the ire of U.S. President Donald Trump.
Trump, doubling down on his tough stance against illegal immigration, has railed against those making their way from the Guatemala-Mexico border in the past 10 days.
Trump repeated threats to torpedo the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which underpins much of Mexico’s foreign trade, and said he wanted to send troops to the U.S. border to stop illegal immigrants until a long-promised border wall is built.
In response, the Mexican government has said the migrants are being vetted to determine whether they have a right to stay, or would be returned to their countries of origin.
Hundreds of men, women and children from Central America were stuck on Tuesday in the town of Matias Romero in the poor southern Mexican state of Oaxaca awaiting clarification of their legal status after officials began registering them.
Confused and frustrated by paperwork, many were uncertain what lay in store, and desperate for information.
“What was the point of all this then if they don’t let us stay?” Elizabeth Avalos, 23, a migrant from El Salvador who was traveling with two children, said angrily. “There’s no food, my children haven’t eaten since yesterday.”
Hundreds of people…