Trump tweeted on Thursday.
“We feel like he’s not human,” said Carlos Fernandez, a 39-year-old bricklayer, speaking by phone from the Guatemala-Mexico border after traveling since last Friday from the crime-wracked city of San Pedro Sula in Honduras.
“If someone migrates to the United States, it’s to work, and working is not a crime,” he said.
More than 1,000 people arrived in Guatemala on Monday, part of a second caravan, but have since divided into smaller groups to push on northward.
The larger caravan is now in southern Mexico and left Honduras nearly two weeks ago. It numbered more than 5,000 when it settled in the town of Mapastepec on Wednesday night, a local official said. Many are fleeing violence, poverty and government corruption in their home countries.
“I wish he could see that we are doing this from our heart, with great desire to move forward,” said Jose Rodriguez, 29, referring to the US president.
Trump pledged during the 2016 presidential race to build a wall along the southern U.S. border with Mexico. But the funding for his signature campaign promise has been slow to materialize.
In April, frustrated by lack of progress on the wall, Trump ordered the National Guard to help secure the border.
Adam Isacson, an official at the Washington Office on Latin America, a group that advocates for migrant rights, expressed misgivings about the potential deployment.
“Even if it’s a short-term deployment, it’s another step toward militarization of our border,” Isacson said, adding that 40 percent of people being apprehended at the border were children and families.