The president tweeted a harsh warning on Thursday to the migrant caravan that is moving toward the southern border of the United States. Trump told the thousands of people currently making their trek through Mexico to turn around because U.S. troops are coming to aid the border patrol.
“To those in the Caravan, turnaround, we are not letting people into the United States illegally,” the president tweeted. “Go back to your Country and if you want, apply for citizenship like millions of others are doing!”
President Trump’s tweet comes just hours after a U.S. official confirmed to Fox News that hundreds of U.S. troops are getting ready to make their way to the southern border to help Homeland Security and National Guard troops mitigate the migrant caravan.
The official said that about 800 active duty soldiers will be sent to the area to offer “logistical support,” including providing tents and vehicles, to the 2,100 National Guard troops on the southern border already assisting Homeland Security.
It is not clear which units will be deployed to the border or why they are being deployed. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis could sign the deployment orders as early as Thursday. Federal law, however, prohibits the use of active duty service members for law enforcement inside the U.S. unless specifically authorized by Congress.
Trump tweeted on Thursday that “Democrat inspired laws make it tough for us to stop people at the border” and that he was using the military for what he called a “National Emergency.” The president vowed, “They will be stopped!” in apparent reference to the caravan. It was still about 1,000 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border and starting to lessen. Previous caravans have largely dissipated before reaching the United States.
Most of those in the caravan are Hondurans, seeking to escape the poverty and violence that plagues the region. The caravan increased dramatically soon after crossing the Mexican border on Oct. 19, but sickness, fear and police harassment have whittled down its numbers. Some of the migrants told Fox News they fear getting attacked if they get on a cargo train or getting deported if they take a bus.
“They are going to walk as long as they can,” said caravan member Brian Colindres, “or as far as they can.”