President Donald Trump has signed a proclamation directing the National Guard to be deployed to the U.S. -Mexico border.
Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto is pictured during the 80th anniversary of the expropriation of Mexico's oil industry in Mexico City, Mexico March 16, 2018.
The Mexican government said guard members "will not carry weapons or have immigration or customs duties".
Buzzfeed News, which first reported the caravan's movements last week, reported on Tuesday that organizers said the caravan would travel to Mexico City, where only those with valid asylum claims in Mexico or the US would continue moving north to the border.
Trump has railed against the caravan in recent days threatening to sink NAFTA negotiations with Mexico if they did not stop it and even threatening foreign aid to Honduras for allowing so many of its citizens to depart bound with the intention to illegally emigrate.
In his tweet Thursday, Trump also said that border crossings are at a 46-year low, but said the rate was still "unacceptable".
"The Caravan is largely broken up thanks to the strong immigration laws of Mexico and their willingness to use them so as not to cause a giant scene at our Border", Trump wrote on Twitter.
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Trump claimed on Thursday, without providing details, that women in the caravan had been raped "at levels that nobody has ever seen before". Still, groups are traveling the same distance and routes as they have for the last eight years.
Ruling-party candidate Jose Antonio Meade said that "independently of our political differences, it is time for all the presidential candidates to unite in defense of the sovereignty and dignity of the nation.to reject and repudiate thus kind of measure".
While some in the caravan will drop out, others will continue on their own to the U.S.to apply for asylum, Alex Mensing, an organizer with the advocacy group Pueblo Sin Fronteras, told The Arizona Republic. The network reported some members plan to seek refugee status in Mexico, while as many as 200 will move on to the U.S.
In March, 37,393 immigrants were caught along the Southwest border, the highest monthly total since December 2016.
Trump also noted he'd been criticized for saying in his campaign kickoff speech that Mexico was sending rapists across the border.
Announcing the National Guard move on Wednesday, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen pointed to what she described as increasing fraud and exploited loopholes among arrivals on the southern border.