President Donald Trump announced Thursday morning that he would shut down the U.S. – Mexico border if the throng of immigrants headed for the United States is not stopped.
Trump posted several messages to Twitter Thursday addressing the 4,000+ member march of Guatemalan, Honduran and El Salvadoran nationals who intend to enter the United States. He reiterated his intention to stop aid payments to any countries that do not help to stop the invading horde and that he’s willing to use the military to close the southern border.
“In addition to stopping all payments to these countries” Trump tweeted. “I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught – and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!”
….In addition to stopping all payments to these countries, which seem to have almost no control over their population, I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught – and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2018
Mexico has sent an additional 500 additional federal officers to their southern border ahead of the march’s arrival and has stated that only those with correct visas will be allowed into the country, while others can apply for refugee status.
It is unclear if the president intends to completely shut down every border crossing to both commercial and private traffic or if the closings would focus on just stopping those in the march.
Trump has activated National Guard units to assist with border security in the past, this newest action appears to be a more aggressive use of the military at the border.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is traveling to Panama and Mexico to press those nations to assist with the immigration problem and several other topics of mutual interest.
He will meet with the leaders of both countries to “discuss our ongoing security cooperation efforts to disrupt the illicit movement of cash, weapons, drugs across our shared border as well as the issue of stemming illegal immigration and strengthening accountability for corruption and human rights abuses, and bringing members of transnational criminal organizations to justice,” the State Department said in a statement.