Trump wants to militarize the border with Mexico

Ⓒ AFP – Olivier Douliery – | US President Donald Trump said he is evaluating deploying the army on the border with Mexico to prevent illegal immigration

US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he wants to militarize the border with Mexico to prevent illegal entry of immigrants to the United States.

Trump spent the last three days attacking Mexico for allowing more than 1,000 Central Americans, most of them from Honduras, to begin a march toward the US border, where many expect to seek asylum.

“Until we can have an adequate wall and security, we are going to protect our border with the army, which is a big step,” the president told reporters. “We can not allow people to enter our country illegally,” he added.

The White House said in a statement hours later that the Trump plan provides for the mobilization of the National Guard and non-military active.

A North American law of the 19th century prohibits the deployment of soldiers in its own territory for civilian purposes but the National Guard only requires the consent of the State where it will be deployed for assistance and support at the border.

Senior officials, such as the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General or the Chief of Staff, reported Trump’s situation last week, and talks continued on Tuesday, the White House continued.

“President Trump and the high officials present also agreed on the need to pressure Congress to urgently approve legislation that closes legal loopholes exploited by criminal traffic, narco-terrorism and smuggling organizations,” the statement added.

The initiative is the latest in Trump’s anti-immigrant crusade, whose distinguished proposal to build a wall on the country’s southern border did not receive the budget funds it requested.

The president already suggested that the military help in the financing and construction of the border wall.

Ⓒ AFP – Anella RETA – | “Viacrucis” migratory to the US

Consulted by AFP, the Pentagon denied being aware of a military deployment on the southern border of the country, but noted that there have already been such operations before.

Trump’s predecessors, Barack Obama in 2010 and George W. Bush between 2006 and 2008, sent the National Guard, an army reserve corps, for patrol and border control.

– Mexico will defend its interests –

Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said on Twitter that his country asked the United States “through official channels, to clarify the announcement about the use of the army on the border.”

“The government of Mexico will define a position based on this clarification, always in defense of our sovereignty and national interest,” he added.

Trump said on Tuesday that Mexico, which he accuses of not doing enough to stop the flow of illegal immigration, had acted to stop the migrant caravan at his request. But he deplored the laxity of US laws to deal with the problem.

“The caravan makes me very sad because this could happen to the United States, where there are thousands of people who simply decide to enter our country and we do not have laws that can protect it,” he said.

– “The caravan continues” –

Ⓒ AFP – VICTORIA RAZO – | Des migrants d’Amérique centrale participant à la caravane “Migrant Via Crucis” who surrende Etats-Unis font queue à Matias Romero to obtain the nourriture of April 3, 2018

“If it reaches our border, our laws are so weak and pathetic … it’s as if we had no border,” added the president, who attacked Obama for weakening border security.

The Mexican Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the caravan “began its dispersal at the decision of its members.”

But shortly after, a member of the coordination told AFP, on condition of anonymity, that “the caravan continues” and that the words of the Mexican government were trying to “lower Trump’s anger”.

The caravan has been held annually for a decade to make visible the calvary suffered by migrants on their way through Mexico.

Organized by the NGO Pueblos Sin Fronteras, the “Viacrucis Migrante 2018” departed on March 25 from the Mexican state of Chiapas, bordering Guatemala.

80% of its members are Hondurans, the rest Guatemalan, Salvadoran and Nicaraguan fleeing violence and poverty in their countries.

“The caravan continues,” a member of the coordination told AFP, on condition of anonymity.

After the Mexican Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the march “began its dispersal at the decision of its members.”

– Honduras and NAFTA threatened –

Earlier this Tuesday, Trump wrote on Twitter that US aid to Honduras is “at stake” if the caravan does not stop its march.

“The great People’s Caravan of Honduras, which now crosses Mexico and heads to our ‘weak laws’ border, better stop before we get there.The NAFTA golden egg hen is at stake, as is the foreign aid to Honduras and the countries that allow this to happen, Congress MUST ACT NOW !, “he said.

The Minister of the Presidency of Honduras, Ebal Díaz, lamented on Tuesday the threats and considered that Trump is using Honduras “to pressure the Congress to approve the reforms to the migratory laws”.

“We are thankfully surprised by this allusion to our country, we reject it completely because it is not true that there is a caravan of Hondurans,” Díaz said in a statement sent to AFP by the Presidential House in an email.

In his series of anti-immigration tweets over the past three days, Trump had already threatened to abandon NAFTA – the free trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada, currently under review at his request – and had demanded more immigration laws from the US Congress. strict

In the budget approved in March, Trump only got 1,600 million dollars for the wall project, much less the 25,000 million ordered.

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