U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Thursday there could be a government shutdown next month over security on the border with Mexico, suggesting he could hold up negotiations if no more money is provided for a wall between the two countries.
The president warned that the United States could close the entire border for a period of time "if we find that it gets to a level where we are going to lose control or our people are going to start getting hurt".
Mr. Trump's remarks come on the heels of a memo signed by White House chief of staff John Kelly declaring the Pentagon has the authority to allow troops to use force, including lethal force, to protect federal personnel at the border if necessary.
While none of the soldiers at the border will be spending the Thanksgiving holiday with their families, Mattis told reporters at least some of them could "certainly" be home before Christmas, another major family gathering time for Americans. Some ports of entry are already facing huge backups, with people waiting for weeks.
The government shut down one port of entry, San Ysidro, in California, for several hours early on Monday morning to boost security amid concerns about a potential influx of migrant caravan members. I don't think they wanted open borders- because majority, if you go back to 2006, they all approved essentially a wall, a very powerful fence, which is pretty much the same thing.
The order could, however, lead troops to violate the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits the federal government from using the Air Force and Army as functional replacements for law enforcement.
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Mr Trump is citing the situation involving migrants camped in Tijuana, Mexico, after traveling in a caravan to reach the United States.
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Wednesday that he had been granted authority to allow troops on the Mexican border greater powers to help protect border officials, and would await direction from the Department of Homeland Security.
Mr Trump vowed to close the entire border if USA officials "find that it gets to a level where we are going to lose control or where people are going to start getting hurt".
Some of the [prior U.S.] presidents, I guess they didn't care or they wanted open borders.
Trump told reporters: "I hope they don't have to", but added, "I have no choice" because "you're dealing with rough people".
He said the people of Tijuana "opened up with wide arms" to welcome the caravan of immigrants trying to reach the border and "now they're going insane to get them out. because bad things are happening".