Trump backtracks on threat to shoot migrants at border

Trump backtracks on threat to shoot migrants at border

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.

Asked if he envisions United States troops firing on anyone in the groups of migrants, Trump told reporters from the White House's Roosevelt Room: "I hope not".

In the same speech, he said the troops on the border - which now number 5,200 - would have instructions to open fire if migrants threw rocks at them, as they had at the Mexican authorities.

He also suggested that the US troops he dispatched to the US-Mexico border could fire on someone in the migrant caravan if the person threw rocks or stones at them.

A federal official who was not authorized to be quoted by name said 153 migrants in the second caravan were detained earlier in the week during highway inspections in Chiapas, a short distance from the Guatemalan border. "They're throwing rocks viciously and violently", Trump said, declaring, "This isn't an innocent group of people, large number of people who are tough". Our military fights back. "We're going to consider - and I told them consider it a rifle".

US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said, "We are already facing a border security and humanitarian crisis along our southwest border".

Trump also tweeted a video Wednesday alleging, without evidence, that Democrats were responsible for allowing a homicidal immigrant into the U.S. The video was reminiscent of the infamous "Willie Horton" ad used against Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis in 1988 and condemned as racist.

The complaint continues to claim that because of his actions, the president also is violating the due process rights of migrants who should be allowed to legally challenge their designations as illegal aliens apart from asylum seekers.




On Thursday, Trump again characterized the caravan as an "invasion" that has "overrun the Mexican police - and hurt, badly, Mexican soldiers".

"Those who choose to break our laws and enter illegally will no longer be able to use meritless claims to gain automatic admission into our country", he said, indicating he'd sign an executive order to change the policy.

"There's nothing political about a caravan of thousands of people and now others forming, pouring up to our country", he said.

In the lapse between his decisions, organizers told members of the caravan that buses would indeed be available, causing some migrants to go to sleep with the impression that they should wake up early to stake out a place in line.

The Nov. 1 lawsuit admits that the migrants are not in the United States, but are "travelling [sic] by foot to the United States to seek asylum". "Some were very seriously injured, and they were throwing rocks in their face". Some have been waiting a long time. According to the Homeland Security Department, about 20 percent of claimants are granted asylum.

As the Post notes, "More than any other president in recent decades, Trump has spoken of the military as if it were part of his political base, rather than an apolitical defender of the nation". Trump has proposed detaining migrants in massive tent cities at the border. It is made up of people who have left poverty and violence at home and are heading slowly through Mexico toward the US border.

"Get off! Get off!" police officer Benjamin Grajeda shouted to a group of migrants clinging to the side of a truck outside Juchitan. "We want them to come into our country", he said.

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