Tijuana (Mexico) (AFP) – Hundreds of Central American migrants staged a boisterous demonstration on the US Mexico border Thursday, screaming for President Donald Trump to let them in as US soldiers and riot police put on a menacing show of force.
The increased tension over the presence of a thousands-strong migrant caravan came as Trump marked Thanksgiving Day by threatening to close the border if he thinks Mexico has lost control of it.
Vehicle and pedestrian traffic at the busy San Ysidro crossing came to a halt for 40 minutes as dozens of US police wearing helmets and holding rifles formed a line facing the Mexican side of the frontier. Separately, riot police rehearsed deployment movements. US Customs and Border Protection called all of this a “large-scale readiness exercise.”
American soldiers in khaki-colored uniforms set off rockets that exploded with a pungent-smelling white smoke. Helicopters hovered overhead.
uring an extended conversation with the press following a Thanksgiving call with military leadership, President Trump said he might shut down the entire southern border.
Trump said he recently shutdown the border between Tijuana and San Diego and is considering shutting down the entire southern border.
Here’s an excerpt:
REPORTER: “Mr. President, what about the idea that the military may use lethal force against these migrants?”
TRUMP: “If they have to, they’re going to to use lethal force. I’ve given the OK. If they have to, I hope they don’t have to, but you’re dealing with a minimum of 500 serious criminals. So I’m not going to let the military be taken advantage of. I have no choice. Do I want that to happen? Absolutely not, but you’re dealing with rough people. You ask the people in Tijuana, Mexico, they opened up with wide arms, just come in, come in, let me help you, let us take care of you. And within two days, now they’re going crazy to get them out. They want them out. Because things are happening, bad things are happening in Tijuana. And again, it’s not in this country because we’ve closed it up. Actually, two days ago, we closed the border. We actually just closed it. We say nobody is coming in because it was out of control. But you take a look at Tijuana, Mexico. You see what’s happening there. It’s really a bad situation.”
REPORTER: “What do you mean you closed the border and nobody is coming in? What do you mean by that?”
TRUMP: “If we find that it’s uncontrollable, Josh, if we find that it’s — it gets to a level where we are going to lose control or where people are going to start getting hurt, we will close entry into the country for a period of time until we can get it under control.”
REPORTER: “Do you mean the entire border?” [crosstalk]
TRUMP: “The whole border. I mean the whole border. And Mexico will not be able to sell their cars into the United States where they make so many at great benefit to them — not a great benefit to us, by the way. But at least now we have a good new trade deal with Mexico and with Canada. But we will close the border. And that means that Mexico is not going to be able to sell their cars into the United States until it’s open. But we’re going to either have a border or we’re not. And when they lose control of the border on the Mexico side, we just close the border. And we have a very powerful border. We built a very strong border in a very short period of time. And the military has been fantastic, the job they have done. And by the way, Border Patrol and ICE, all of the law enforcement we have involved, and we have local law enforcement, too, they have done an incredible job. And they have wanted this for you know, I’m the first president who’s done to this extent, but they wanted this for years. And some of the presidents, I guess they didn’t care or they wanted open borders. I don’t think they wanted open borders. Because most of them, if you go back to 2006, they all approved essentially a wall, a very powerful fence, which is pretty much the same thing. But in 2006, if you look, Obama, you look at Hillary Clinton, you look at Schumer, all of the people that are standing up protesting, they think it’s good for them politically. See, I think it’s bad for them politically. I think the fact that they’re weak on the border is very, very bad for them politically. But you know, I have only been a politician for three years so maybe they know better than me.”
WASHINGTON – Central Americans who arrive at U.S. border crossings seeking asylum in the United States will have to wait in Mexico while their claims are processed under sweeping new measures the Trump administration is preparing to implement, according to internal planning documents and three Department of Homeland Security officials familiar with the initiative.
According to DHS memos obtained by The Washington Post on Wednesday, Central American asylum seekers who cannot establish a “reasonable fear” of persecution in Mexico will not be allowed to enter the United States and would be turned around at the border.
A small faction of the larger group of 6,219 Central American migrants in Tijuana slowly and peacefully pushed within 500 feet of the U.S. border Thursday while armed Mexican federal police held a barrier near the pedestrian crossing.
SHOCKING images offer a glimpse inside the terrifying Honduran gangs feared to be infiltrating migrant caravans – and the misery they cause.
Donald Trump controversially insisted the US-bound groups are filled with the merciless mobsters, and sent nearly 6,000 troops to the border to keep them from entering.
But one former cop told how he had no other choice but to join one of the caravans and flee after his sons were held at gunpoint by the brutal killers.
Known only as Ivan, he said he had moved homes so many times to escape the violence in his home of San Pedro Sula, Honduras – but it was impossible to get away.
And when his young sons Yostin, 15 and Julio, 13, were threatened with death if the didn’t join a local gang, he decided enough was enough and fled to America.
The terrified family joined the vast group of people travelling from the violence-ridden city after hiding out at friend’s houses.