Migrant Caravan Stopped Well Before Trump's Promise to Militarize U.S. Border

The "caravan" of mostly Central American migrants making its way through Mexico reportedly stopped Monday at a local park, as the marchers decide where and when to proceed. The pause came after President Donald Trump's continued blasting of Mexico over alleged inaction in stopping the migrants and other immigrants from illegally crossing over into the U.S.

The group of roughly 1,100 people, mostly from Honduras, is currently stationed at a soccer field in Matias Romero in Mexico's Oaxaca state. It is some 450 miles from the closest Central American country, Guatemala.

The caravan is headed up by activist group Pueblo Sin Fronteras, directed by Irenio Mujica. Mujica said the group would stop at the city of Puebla outside of Mexico City, according to the Associated Press. A group of about 150 men reportedly broke away and boarded a freight train after the caravan stopped, and could be trying to enter the U.S. But the rest stayed back and were unlikely to proceed until later this week.

"We are scared, just like you," Mujica said according to The Washington Post. "Now President Donald Trump has said that he wants to hit us with nuclear bombs."

Trump had not made such a threat of nuclear bombs, but the president has called out Mexico and even said Tuesday that he had discussed a plan with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to send the U.S. military to the southern border. Trump claimed the potential militarization of the border was necessary due to the lack of his proposed border wall or proper security.

"We have very bad laws for our border, and we are going to be doing some things — I've been speaking with General Mattis — we're going to be doing things militarily," Trump said at the White House. "Until we can have a wall and proper security, we're going to be guarding our border with the military. That's a big step. We really haven't done that before, or certainly not very much before."

The president also called on Congress to take action to secure the U.S. border. Trump took umbrage with the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill before he signed it last month, claiming he had to give away too much to Democrats and threatened to veto the measure over the $1.6 billion wall and border security funding provided.

Trump tweeted earlier Tuesday that the caravan "better be stopped before" it reaches the U.S. border, and dangled the North American Free Trade Agreement as "in play," an apparent threat to cancel the trade deal that has benefited Mexico's economy.

"The big Caravan of People from Honduras, now coming across Mexico and heading to our "Weak Laws" Border, had better be stopped before it gets there. Cash cow NAFTA is in play, as is foreign aid to Honduras and the countries that allow this to happen. Congress MUST ACT NOW!," Trump tweeted.