President Donald Trump on Thursday claimed he would sign an executive order "next week" aimed at restricting USA asylum rules, as he seeks to use a group of Central American migrants heading for the U.S. border as part of his midterm election closing argument.
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.
But immigrant advocates at the border earlier this year said that Customs and Border Patrol officers made it hard for migrants to cross bridges, turning them away at the midpoint between Mexico and the U.S. In June, officers were visible on bridges in the Rio Grande Valley, blocking pedestrians from crossing.
Many said they no longer had faith in those organizing the large group, after confusion broke out regarding buses that would have taken migrants on a route to Mexico City.
The plaintiffs specifically allege that Trump's promise to stop the caravan of migrants now traveling toward the southern border using the military violates the due process rights of legitimate asylum-seekers fleeing the "well-documented human rights crisis" unfolding in Honduras and El Salvador. "They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back", he said.
The administration has been discussing various options to address the caravans for days and it was possible that things could change before Trump's 4:15 p.m. remarks "on the illegal immigration crisis" before he departs the White House for a campaign rally in Missouri.
It might be true there are some criminals mixed in with the throngs, given the sheer number of migrants.
On Wednesday night, CNN host Chris Cuomo asked Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez four times why his party was refusing to respond to Trump's threats against immigrants. We're going to consider, and I told them to consider it a rifle.
While some migrants have clashed with Mexican police at a bridge on the Guatemala border, most of those traveling with the caravans have been peaceful and say they are fleeing violence and poverty at home. They could head to the border at any time, but have not yet been sent. Those who choose to break the laws and enter illegally will no longer be able to use meritless claims to gain automatic admission into our country. If the military's assessment is accurate, it would mean the United States is positioning five soldiers on the border for every one caravan member expected to arrive there.
He has also suggested that those claims should be rejected even before asylum seekers appear before a judge and begin court proceedings and that the simple fact of crossing the border illegally could also be a factor in rejecting an asylum claim. According to the Homeland Security Department, about 20 percent of claimants are granted asylum.
Trump did not back down Wednesday from his controversial proposal to upend the very concept of American citizenship.
TRUMP: "President Obama separated the children from parents and nobody complained". The notion that the USA military is incapable of handling the army of illegal aliens approaching our Southern border in a humane manner is not only an insult to the professionalism and capability of our military officers and troops, it is rebutted by the plain evidence of our national history.
"Get off! Get off!" police officer Benjamin Grajeda shouted to a group of migrants clinging to the side of a truck outside Juchitan. Some people call it an invasion.These are tough people in many cases; a lot of young men, strong men and a lot of men that maybe we don't want in our country.This isn't an innocent group of people.