‘Illegal entry will not be tolerated and we stand ready to prevent it…’
(AFP) The United States warned Tuesday it was prepared to prevent a new caravan of Central American migrants from entering the country, with President Donald Trump tweeting that more troops have been sent to the border.
The warnings came as Trump was preparing for a State of the Union speech to Congress that was sure to feature his so far unsuccessful battle to win funding for a wall on the US-Mexico border.
“Tremendous numbers of people are coming up through Mexico in the hopes of flooding our Southern Border. We have sent additional military. We will build a Human Wall if necessary. If we had a real Wall, this would be a non-event!” Trump said on Twitter.
Republicans should be prepared “to do whatever is necessary” for border security, given the opposition of Democrats to the wall, he said.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen followed with a statement saying that some “2,000 aliens have arrived in northern Mexico as part of a ‘caravan’ seeking to cross the border into Texas.”
“Illegal entry will not be tolerated and we stand ready to prevent it.”
Trump has demanded $5.7 billion to build a border wall, shutting down the government for 35 days in a failed attempt to pressure Democrats to approve it as part of a budget deal.
He has threatened to declare a national emergency and use Pentagon funds to finance wall construction if the Congress continues to holdout.
On Sunday, the Pentagon said it was sending an additional 3,750 troops to the border. That would bring the total number of US troops there to 4,330,
In recent years hundreds of thousands of migrants fleeing poverty and violence in Central America have illegally crossed the US border annually, many of them requesting asylum to remain inside the United States.
Nielsen said the caravans “are the result of Congress’s inexcusable failure to fully fund a needed physical barrier and unwillingness to fix outdated laws that act as an enormous magnet for illegal aliens.”
“This crisis won’t be solved until we have comprehensive border security,” she said.
© Agence France-Presse