Published: Sat, October 20, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Trump threatens to send troops to border to stop migrant caravan

Trump threatens to send troops to border to stop migrant caravan

In a series of tweets, Trump said that if Mexico is incapable of stopping the immigrants, he will "call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!" He also appeared to threaten a revamped trade deal with Mexico and Canada.

Two Central American migrants wait for the train siting on the railway tracks in the Guadalajara Metropolitan area, Mexico on August 10, 2018.

Lieutenant Colonel Jamie Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said that while National Guard troops were now supporting the Department of Homeland Security on the U.S. southern border, the Pentagon had not been tasked to provide additional support.

Mindful that many members of the caravan are fleeing poverty and violence, United Nations officials at the shelters will decide which migrants have legitimate claims for refugee status.

Mexico's interior ministry says in a Thursday statement that the government will ask the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees to support Mexican agencies attending to the migrants.

In April, Trump said that he wanted to deploy more U.S. troops on the border until the completion of his planned wall between the United States and Mexico.

Trump has long touted a need for increased border security, warning criminals and drugs were regularly pouring across the southern border.

Watch the clip above via Fox News. However, no migrants have been moved to any US military facilities in 2018, said Davis, the Pentagon spokesman.

Even by those standards his Thursday morning tweet storm - coming less than three weeks from midterm legislative elections where the Democrats may take the lower house from Trump's Republicans - was especially fierce.

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The migrants hope to enter Mexico and cross the country to reach the United States.

Military officials instructed troops to alert border agents if they encountered migrants, rather than intervene themselves except in cases of self defence.

Stretching nearly 2,000 miles (3,200 km), the US-Mexican border is one of the busiest in the world, processing thousands of commuters daily and much of the half a trillion dollars of annual trade between Mexico and the United States. Others prepared to cross the river in rafts, the traditional way migrants enter.

Mexico's ambassador to Guatemala, Luis Manuel Lopez Moreno, met with leaders of the caravan Wednesday and warned them that Hondurans caught without papers in Mexico would be deported.

"Americans are compassionate people, and we empathize with all those who suffer and respect the desire of millions to become Americans".

"In other words before they make the trek across Mexico?"

"Before taking decisions of that kind", Videgaray said, "there would be many people in the United States ... who would consider the consequences".

A political crisis in the wake of last year's elections also led to thousands of arrests and a number of deaths.

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