US bans Mexico, Costa Rica, and Guatemala from traveling to the US

By Aaron BlakeAssociated PressBy ARASHTA RUSSELLReutersBy SARAH M. FERGUSONAssociated PressAPUSANASIA–(AP)Associated Press – The United States on Thursday banned all international travel by Mexicans, Costa Ricans, and Guatemalans from entering the United States and halted some border-crossing for all three countries.

The executive order came as the administration of President Donald Trump sought to pressure Mexico and Guatemala to pay for a wall along the border with the U.S. The move comes amid mounting criticism of Trump for his policies and for refusing to enforce the 2015 border wall he said Mexico and its allies did not build.

It was not immediately clear what prompted the move, which comes as Trump faces an unprecedented number of allegations of racism and xenophobia.

Mexico and Guatemala both deny any involvement in building the wall.

Trump has called Mexico a “rogue nation” and said he would be “the greatest job-creator on earth.”

He has said Mexico has taken advantage of the U,S.

economy.

U.S.-Mexico border tensions are high amid the ongoing migrant crisis.

On Thursday, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the United Nations is concerned that some countries are continuing to use their veto powers to prevent the United Kingdom and France from taking up the issue of the wall that Trump has promised to build along the Mexican border.

Guterres told reporters that his agency has asked the two leaders to “speak in a unified voice” and “not to be afraid of each other.”

Guterre also said that the United State has a duty to its allies in the region to protect their security and interests.

The U.K. has warned it would not take part in the wall proposal unless the Mexican and Guatemalan governments provide the money to pay the $1.6 billion cost.