President Donald Trump has continued to blast a border-bound group of migrants as an ‘invading force.’
The commander-in-chief reiterated a pledge he’s been making for the past two weeks, telling migrants that the U.S. military will be waiting at the border. But Trump didn’t content himself with accusing asylum-seekers and single mothers of waging war against America—he again insinuated that the so-called caravan has been infiltrated by “gang members” and other undesirable elements.
“Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border,” Trump tweeted Monday. “Please go back, you will not be admitted to the United State sunless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!”
Like Trump’s last series of warnings—that the caravan contained “Middle Easterners”—his assertion that gang members make up a large part of the group was without evidence.
The Hill reports that the latest round of tweets accompanies Pentagon preparations. As many as 5,000-activty duty troops may be sent to the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent migrants from entering the United States.
Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border. Please go back, you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 29, 2018
However, American soldiers are expected to do little beyond provide Customs and Border Patrol with surveillance resources and logistical support. The Hill says troops won’t apprehend, detain or otherwise interact with aliens caught crossing the border illegally.
Any deployment will probably play out similar to last. Earlier in 2018, several thousand National Guard troops were sent to border states to bolster security against another migrant caravan.
But the New York Times says Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric could have policy repercussions. Along with mulling over a military deployment, the president is considering using executive action to ‘bar migrants, including asylum seekers, from entering the country at the southern border.’
That information, claims the Times, was given to the paper by “people familiar with the plan.”
Three people briefed on the still-pending proposal said it “envisioned Mr. Trump issuing a proclamation on Tuesday. It would invoke broad presidential powers to bar foreigners from entering the country for national security reasons—under the same section of immigration law that underpinned the travel ban—to block Central American migrants from crossing the southern border.”
Trump’s plan may preclude migrants “who cross the border in between ports of entry” from applying for asylum.
Exceptions, writes the Times, could be made for people who face ‘torture’ in their home countries.
“Taken together,” reports the NYT, “the actions would effectively prevent hundreds of people in the caravan from gaining entry into the United States and making an asylum claim.” But the repercussions, claims the Times, could be more profound—the dissolution of a mechanism permitted under U.S. and international law which allows persecuted peoples to flee violence and oppression abroad.
While numerous migrant caravans have attempted to reach the United States since at least 2008, President Trump appears to be using the latest to boost Republican participation in the upcoming midterms.
“The approach of a caravan of migrants that includes refugees fleeing persecution and violence is not a crisis, but President Trump is yet again spreading hatred and fear, hoping to score political points by making Americans fear refugees,” said Mike Breen, chief executive of Human Rights First. “The president should not be using the military to further a partisan agenda.”