United States President, Donald Trump on Thursday said that American troops being deployed to the country’s southwestern border will not hesitate to fire upon any migrant throwing rocks or forcefully attempting to enter the country through Mexico.
“They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back. I say, consider it a rifle. They’re throwing rocks viciously and violently. This isn’t an innocent group of people, large number of people who are tough.” Trump said.
While describing the thousands of migrants who, as at early this week were still at least 1,000 miles away from the nearest US point of entry as an invasion, Trump said the surging migrants were a violent and imminent threat to his country.
“These are pretty tough people, and I don’t want them in our country. Women don’t want them in our country. Women want security,” he added.
He pledged to end the ‘catch and release’ practice of paroling refugees with credible asylum claims into the population, claiming that just 3 percent of asylum seekers return for court hearings on their claims.
Trump began focusing his attention on the migrants surge last month when a large group of migrants first departed the Honduran city of San Pedro de Sula, growing to more than 7,000 as it travelled through Guatemala and into Mexico.
That first group, whose numbers have since diminished to approximately 4,000 reached the Oaxacan city of Juchitan this week while a smaller caravan crossed into Mexico about 250 miles behind.
On Monday, the Trump administration announced a plan to deploy 5,200 troops to the southern border to deter the estimated 3,500 asylum seekers in the Central American migrant caravan slowly making its way north through Mexico.
However, the military spokesman for Northern Command said only those troops that are involved in protecting assets like helicopters will be armed, stressing that they are there to free up border patrol agents by doing logistical and administrative work.