Honduran migrants march north to the city Tapachula, Mexico, on Sunday on their way to the United States. Photo by Maria de la Luz Ascencio/EPA-EFE
Oct. 22 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump threatened Monday to cut aid to three Central American nations after they allowed a caravan of thousands migrants to leave for the United States.
Specifically, Trump singled out Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador in a series of tweets Monday morning. He also blamed the Mexican military and police for allowing the caravan to go through on its way to the United States. He also blamed Democrats for having lax immigration laws and said the U.S. border patrol and military are on alert.
"Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the U.S.," he wrote. "We will now begin cutting off, or substantially reducing, the massive foreign aid routinely given to them."
The caravan grew to more than 5,600 people Sunday as it crossed the Mexico-Guatemala border. It's primarily made up of people from Honduras looking to escape poverty.
Mexican police have set up security checkpoints, but most migrants aren't being detained. Trump warned in his tweets there are criminals and Middle Easterners mixed in to the group.
The caravan split apart Sunday when Mexican authorities told refugees to apply for asylum. Some turned back to Honduras, a few sought asylum in Mexico and others crossed the Suchiate River into Mexico.
Mexicans in the village of Zaragoza shouted "Good luck! Good luck!" as the migrants passed.
"We thank Mexico. It seems we are the poorest among the poor," one migrant said.
The apparent leader of the caravan, David Lopez, said the group will set up camp in Tapachula for a few days before deciding their next move.
Trump tweeted Sunday that migrants must apply for asylum in Mexico first.
"If they failed to do that, the U.S. will turn them away," Trump said.