Published: Thu, October 18, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Trump threatens to 'close border' over caravan

Trump threatens to 'close border' over caravan

President Donald Trump on Thursday said he would to deploy the us military and close the southern border if Mexico did not move to halt large groups of migrants headed for the United States from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

US Border Patrol agents took more than 16,000 parents and their children into custody in September, the highest one-month total on record.

US President Donald Trump threatened on Thursday to send the military to the Mexican border and to imperil a trade deal in an intensification of his anti-immigrant rhetoric ahead of congressional elections.

Thursday's comments were not the first time Trump has threatened to close down the southern border entirely.

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The caravan of migrants that began in Honduras has grown to several thousand people after passing into Guatemala as it heads for the Mexican border.

President Trump continued by saying ceasing the flow of drug and criminals into the U.S.is more important than global trade. "All Democrats fault for weak laws!"

While Trump did not make clear what a military deployment at the border might look like, the president did deploy nearly 4,000 National Guard troops to the border in April, as the first caravan approached. That episode caused a spat between the United States and Mexico and was used to justify a deployment of National Guard troops to the border.

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

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Trump has made migrant caravans a symbol of all that is wrong with US immigration policies.

"I am watching the Democrat Party led (because they want Open Borders and existing weak laws) assault on our country by Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, whose leaders are doing little to stop this large flow of people, INCLUDING MANY CRIMINALS, from entering Mexico to US", he wrote.

The Honduran government has urged people not to join the caravan, but the government of Guatemala is powerless to stop its progress, as citizens of Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua can freely move between the four countries showing only an ID card.

The migrants say they organized for the long and hard journey on social media, but Washington suspects the group has been organized as a deliberate provocation.

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