Washington, Nov 1 (EFE).- President Donald Trump said Thursday that he will not permit entry into this country by members of the approaching caravans of Central American migrants, adding that he is “finalizing a plan” to deny the asylum claims made by anyone entering the US illegally.
“Under this plan, the illegal aliens will no longer get a free pass into the country by lodging meritless claims in seeking asylum,” the president said before leaving the White House to headline a campaign rally in Missouri.
“Migrants seeking asylum will have to present themselves lawfully at a port of entry,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
The president, who provided no details of the plan, also said that his administration is drafting an executive order on the matter which he hopes to make public next week.
He warned that immigrants who are detained after illegally crossing into the US will not be released while their cases are being reviewed but rather will remain in custody until their deportation.
The president also reiterated that the members of the migrant caravans currently traveling through southern Mexico en route to the US will not be allowed to enter this country and that anyone crossing the border illegally will be deported.
“These illegal caravans will not be allowed into the United States and they should turn back now,” said Trump, who claimed that the groups constitute a security threat because – in all likelihood, he suggested – they include “Middle Easterners”
He has also called the caravans an “invasion” – although they are still many hundreds of miles south of the border.
Trump also said that the US troops recently deployed to the southern border will be allowed to open fire if they are attacked by migrants hurling stones, as he said the caravan members – most of them from Honduras – did when they entered Mexico.
“I will tell you this – anybody throwing stones, rocks like they did to Mexico … We will consider that a firearm, because there’s not much difference,” he said, although federal law generally prohibits the US military from engaging in law enforcement tasks on US soil.
On Oct. 19, six Mexican police officers were injured when about 3,000 migrants tore down a fence on the border with Guatemala that was impeding their passage, although the Mexican authorities said that the stones thrown by some members of the crowd were hurled by “people (not affiliated) with the caravan itself.”
Trump’s comments come a few days after the US government announced the deployment of 5,239 active duty soldiers to the southern border, a figure that – as Trump said on Wednesday – could be increased to 15,000.