White House lauds Mexico for efforts to stop migrant caravan

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Wednesday praised Mexico for offering "unprecedented" help in slowing the progress of a migrant caravan of Central American migrants making its way toward the southern U.S. border.

"We are in constant communication with other countries. Mexico has stepped up in an unprecedented way. We want to continue to be able to work with them," Sanders said in an appearance on "Fox & Friends."

Asked how, specifically, Mexico has assisted the Trump administration's efforts to prevent the migrants from getting to the U.S., Sanders said Mexican officials have blocked certain means of transportation, forcing the group to travel hundreds of miles on foot and slowing their progress.


"Again, they can do more, but at the end of the day the president is going secure our border and he’s not going to let people that we don’t know who they are why they’re coming or what they’re coming for, into our country," Sanders said.

The press secretary's praise for Mexico came around the same time President TrumpDonald John TrumpDonald Trump and Joe Biden create different narratives for the election The hollowing out of the CDC Poll: Biden widens lead over Trump to 10 points MORE issued a tweet saying that Mexican soldiers "were unable, or unwilling" to stop the caravan from crossing the Guatemala-Mexico border. 

Leaders of the group of roughly 4,000 migrants said Wednesday they intended to stop to rest for at least a day in southern Mexico while they negotiate with Mexican authorities in the hopes of obtaining transportation to Mexico City.

The Associated Press reported that Mexican officials had given no indication whether they would agree to help transport the group.

Trump has seized on the caravan in the final weeks of the midterm campaign, painting the group of migrants as an imminent threat to U.S. sovereignty and national security. The group is largely made up of citizens of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala fleeing violence and poverty, and includes many women and children.

The Pentagon announced Monday it is deploying 5,200 active-duty troops to respond to the caravan after Trump called for military action.

The president has also threatened to close the southern border, and the administration is reportedly considering issuing an executive order to block Central Americans from claiming asylum. The latter proposal would likely draw legal challenges.

Trump previously threatened to withhold aid to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala if the countries did not keep their residents from fleeing for the U.S. Asked about that pledge on Wednesday, Sanders said the president is "looking at all options at his disposal," but did not indicate if he had followed through on that pledge.