Pence slams 'leftist groups' allegedly organizing migrant caravan in Fox Business interview

Vice President Mike Pence reiterated his claim the migrant caravan is being funded by outside, leftist groups in a Fox Business interview Thursday.

“This caravan was organized by leftist groups in Honduras, financed in part by Venezuela, that all according to the president of Honduras (Juan Orlando Hernández), who told me that personally,” Pence told Fox Business’ Trish Regan. “They were sent north for the sole and exclusive reason of challenging the laws of the United States of America by coming into our country illegally, and the president has made it clear that we’re not going to allow it.”

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He previously told Fox News he had received the intelligence in an interview late Friday in Yuma, Arizona.

He also reiterated that American immigration laws aren’t about aggressive xenophobia.

“Well, any illusion to evil historical figures in the past is shameful,” Pence said, when asked if the current American actions are racist and similar to Nazi Germany dehumanizing migrants as criminals. “It should be rejected out of hand. Look, as the president has said many times, a country without borders is not a country, and the American people are very concerned not just about this caravan, but about the fact that we have a broken immigration system, and that we haven’t secured our borders, and they understand that.”

The leading caravan, which is now estimated to contain around 4,000 people, is down from a peak of more than 7,000.

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The caravan crossed into Mexico from Guatemala around Oct. 19 and, at the start of this week, appeared to be pushing northward at a faster pace with the help of free rides being offered to them in trucks and other vehicles.

The arduous nature of the trek — walking day by day to new towns and cities and sleeping on the streets — has been eating away at the migrants’ morale from the outset, as Fox News previously reported. The request for bus travel for all also indicates an increased sense of urgency amongst the caravan’s members to make it to the U.S. border — despite thousands of American troops awaiting them there, and a steady drumbeat of warnings from President Trump and U.S. officials to turn around.

Pence also told Regan that he stands with Trump, who has called for an executive order to curb birthright citizenship.

“President Trump’s made it clear he’s prepared to take action, either executive action or to work with the Congress on legislation to end birthright citizenship,” Pence said. “It is again one of those elements of a broken immigration system that serves as a magnet for people to attempt to come into our country illegally. It’s undeniable.”

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Trump used an interview with “Axios on HBO,” a clip of which was released Tuesday, to announce his intention to use an executive order to end the policy granting automatic citizenship to children born in the U.S. to non-citizen or illegal immigrant parents.

Speaking to reporters outside the White House Wednesday, the president said he doesn’t believe you “need a constitutional amendment” to change birthright citizenship. He said he believes it can be accomplished through a vote in Congress, or by an executive order. The president compared it to then-President Obama’s 2012 order that allowed certain people who came to the U.S. illegally as minors to be protected from immediate deportation.

Fox Business’ Trish Regan , Fox News’ Peter Doocy, Greg Norman and Adam Shaw contributed to this report.