Patience Wears Thin as Migrant Caravan Heads North

04 November, 2018, 02:01 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • Six San Diego-area military bases to help in Pentagon effort to secure border

President Donald Trump ordered troops to the border in response to a caravan of migrants slowly making its way through Mexico toward the United States - still about 900 miles away with many dropping out.

Asked if he envisions USA troops firing on anyone in the groups of migrants, Trump told reporters at the White House: "I hope not".

Trump has railed against illegal immigration, including several caravans of migrants from Central America slowly moving toward the US border. They are a mix of forces, including military police, an assault helicopter battalion, various communications, medical and headquarters units, combat engineers, planners and public affairs units.

US immigration laws say migrants seeking asylum can do so no matter how they arrive at the U.S.

Honduran migrant Jose Macy carries his four-year-old nephew Yair Perez as the thousands-strong caravan of Central Americans migrants hoping to reach the USA border moves onward from Juchitan, Oaxaca state, Mexico, Thursday, Nov. 1. "What I don't want is I don't want these people throwing rocks", Trump told reporters outside the White House. Our military fights back.

Sarah Pierce, policy analyst for the U.S. Immigration Policy Program at the Migration Policy Institute, refuted the president's claims.

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.

He said that his administration is finalising a plan to deny asylum to migrants who cross into the United States illegally, a move that would be sure to draw legal challenges should it come to fruition.

The blunt criticism of the mission to block what Trump contends is a threatening caravan of migrants encouraged by Democrats reflects the strain that his unusual presidency has put on one of America's most important norms: the tradition of an apolitical military.

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Trump referred to the movement as an "invasion".

"The U.S. military personnel that are going have very clear guidance that we've given them", he told reporters on October 30. We're holding them right there.

"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.

The caravan, now some 5,000 people, set off from Honduras several weeks ago.

In 1991, Congress passed a law that allows the Pentagon to assist federal and state law enforcement officials during domestic anti-drug operations. Some have been waiting a long time. The official says there are about 2,600 US troops now at staging bases, largely in Texas, with several thousand more expected to flow in through the weekend and move into California and Arizona. Even Fox News, which serves as a bullhorn for the President's thinly-disguised racist broadsides, carried an op-ed saying "Trump should fix our immigration system - Not spread fear of immigrants".

About 20 percent of asylum applications were granted in 2017, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

At a campaign rally in Miami on Friday, former President Barack Obama accused Mr Trump of cynical politics and a political stunt over his plans to send troops to the Mexican border.

Trump highlighted the case of Luis Bracamontes, a twice-deported immigrant from Mexico sentenced to death in California for killing two police officers. In addition, the government identified a smaller group of 300 Central American migrants walking further ahead, in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz. Think of it. Somebody walks into our country, reads a statement given by a lawyer, and we have a three-and-a-half-year court case for one person.

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