Trump considers closing border to Central American caravan; Nielsen says they will not be allowed in

Trump considers closing border to Central American caravan; Nielsen says they will not be allowed in
A large migrant caravan, headed to the U.S., makes its way Thursday through the main square of Pijijiapan, Chiapas state, Mexico. The Trump administration is considering issuing an executive order that would block the ports of entry to the thousands of Honduran migrants. (Guillermo Arias / AFP/Getty Images)

The Trump administration is considering issuing an executive order that would block the ports of entry to the thousands of Central American migrants who are traveling in a caravan to the U.S.-Mexico border, Politico reported.

If President Donald Trump issues an executive action, the regulation would be fast-tracked and it would restrict the ability of some migrants who are seeking asylum, according to the report. But the action is just one of several options being considered by the administration.

“The administration is considering a wide range of administrative, legal and legislative options to address the Democrat-created crisis of mass illegal immigration,” a White House official said. “No decisions have been made at this time. Nor will we forecast to smugglers or caravans what precise strategies will or will not be deployed.”

Are additional troops headed to the border?

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was expected to sign an order on Thursday to deploy at least 800 active-duty troops to the border in preparation for the estimated 7,000 migrants who are making their way through Mexico, according to multiple reports.

The troops would assist the 2,000 National Guard members deployed earlier this year.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told Fox News on Thursday that the Department of Homeland Security had requested the troops to assist with air support, vehicle barriers, and other logistical assistance.

“This caravan cannot come to the United States. They will not be allowed in. They will not be allowed to stay,” Nielsen told Fox News in an interview at the border in Yuma, Arizona.

 

Fox News asked whether or not the troops would shoot at migrants who forced their way across the border illegally.

“We do not have any intention right now to shoot at people,” Nielsen told Fox News. “They will be apprehended, however.”

“If shot at, they would shoot back?” the reporter asked.

“No, I just think we’d have to work through that. But I want to make clear we will absolutely not tolerate violence against Border Patrol in this situation,” Nielsen responded. “These are dedicated men and women risking their lives every day. I will not tolerate Mexicans or anybody else acting in a violent way toward our men and women on the border.”

What did President Trump say?

Trump warned the caravan of migrants to turnaround.

“To those in the Caravan, turnaround, we are not letting people into the United States illegally. Go back to your Country and if you want, apply for citizenship like millions of others are doing!” he tweeted on Thursday.

The president has also threatened to reduce or cut off aid to Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras for not stopping the migrants.