US President Donald Trump ratcheted up his anti-immigrant rhetoric on Thursday ahead of next week's mid-term elections, warning that the 15,000 US troops he is deploying at the country's southern border could shoot at the migrant caravan if they threw rocks at soldiers as they reportedly did when they crossed into Mexico from Central America.
Speaking at the White House, Trump did not give specifics of his proposal other than to say migrants attempting to seek asylum must make their requests at legal points of entry, and that he wants to increase the detention of asylum-seekers.
The president's remarks, five days before USA voters determine which party will control Congress and state governorships across the country, drew immediate criticism as an effort to generate fear and energize his political base.
They had tried to arrange bus transport from Juchit·n but failed, leaving them once again on foot, hitchhiking and looking for rides where they can find them.
To which he added, "They won't". Immigration officials have turned away asylum-seekers at border crossings because of overcrowding, telling them to return at a later date.
While it's true the underlying laws were the same, the Trump administration mandated anyone caught crossing the border illegally was to be criminally prosecuted.
The president's idea to limit asylum seekers to those who have arrived at designated ports of entry could particularly impact those in the most unsafe circumstances, notes Geoffrey Hoffman, director of University of Houston Law Center's Immigration Clinic.
In a speech Thursday, he suggested without evidence that the migrant caravans are full of hardened criminals; in fact, they are mostly poor people with few belongings who are fleeing gang violence. Trump has said this week that those in the caravan would not get asylum - though US law allows them the right to apply - and warned them to turn around.
"I just don't want these people throwing rocks", Trump said on Friday. -Mexican border in response to the still far-off caravans - roughly double the number the Pentagon said it now plans for a mission whose dimensions are shifting daily. The military can be used to halt armed insurrections, and to help recover weapons of mass destruction on US soil. It's not going to happen to our soldiers. "You put them and all law enforcement in a very hard emotional, let alone security posture".
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U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks on immigration and border security in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, in Washington, D.C., on November 1, 2018.
Immigrant advocates say the new tactics at the border are aimed at discouraging asylum claims.
TRUMP: "At this very moment, large well-organized caravans of migrants are marching towards our southern border".
The executive order on immigration will be issued next week, Trump said.
"The people in the caravan have walked for weeks under the rain and sun from Central America, where they left their houses and families; they were forced to leave their countries due to the violence, death and hunger", the letter reads.
"We are not releasing them into our country any longer".
These migrant families are generally released to join relatives in other parts of the country and will be issued a Notice to Appear in immigration court for their asylum hearing. I told them, consider it a rifle.
"As far as the caravan is concerned, our military is out", Trump said.
Donald Trump has vowed that migrant caravans heading through Mexico will be met with a "wall of people" at the U.S. border as he doubled down on immigration ahead of Tuesday's midterm elections. The suspect in that case, Robert Bowers, reportedly posted anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant comments on social media, claiming Jews were helping a migrant caravan that he likened to "invaders".