President Trump, “We Will Use Military to Protect Our Border”
US President Donald Trump said he plans to deploy the Military to guard the border with Mexico and has told Mexican leaders he would abandon NAFTA without assurances of help on securing the boundary.
“We are going to do some things, I’ve been talking to General Mattis, we’re going to be doing things militarily until we can have a wall and proper security,” President Trump said Tuesday during a meeting with the leaders of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. “We’re going to be guarding our border with the military.”
President Trump has suggested that he could use money allocated for the military to construct the border wall for which he has so far been unable to secure congressional funding. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to say how President Trump would re-direct the funding.
The Defense Department has in the past helped the Department of Homeland Security with border security measures, and George W. Bush and Barack Obama both deployed National Guard troops to the border during their presidency to bolster security.
President Trump also said he heard that a caravan of Ecuadorian refugees traveling through Mexico in hopes of entering the US was being broken up by the Mexican government, and credited his own pressure campaign over trade.
“They did it because I said, frankly, I said you really had to do it,” Trump said. “We’re going to have a relationship on NAFTA, we’re going to have to include security in NAFTA.”
The Trump Administration is crafting legislation to make it harder for refugees to gain asylum in the US and to extend the periods of time that authorities can hold families and unaccompanied children at the border.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Monday Twitter that she was working with Mexican officials “to address the yearly illegal alien caravan.”
“I echo @POTUS demand for Congress to address outdated and dangerous immigration loopholes – the system is broken,” Nielsen said. Traffickers and criminal groups “know how to exploit our laws. We need to get smarter, tougher.
We are exploring all options to protect the Homeland.
President Trump argues that border patrol agents don’t have the tools they need to do their jobs, placing the blame on congressional Democrats.
The president said the current legal system for handling refugees who entered the country illegally is “ridiculous.”
“We have to change our policies, fast,” he said.