Donald Trump suggests military could fire at caravan if people throw stones

Larry Hoffman
November 2, 2018

The president's remarks, 5 days before U.S. voters determine which party will control Congress and state governorships across the country, drew immediate criticism as an effort to generate fear and energize his political base.

He says the move would be aimed at preventing the entry of a caravan of migrants traveling from Central America.

"Those who choose to break our laws and enter illegally will no longer be able to use meritless claims to gain automatic admission into our country", he said.

Mr Trump said he was not anti-immigrant but wanted immigration to be completely brought under control.

"We'll be doing an executive order sometime next week", he said, giving little further detail.

Mr Trump spoke during a presentation of his controversial policy on cracking down against what he says is uncontrolled illegal immigration.

Trump has focused increasingly on immigration heading into the final days of the midterms, as Republicans across the country struggle to match their opponents in drumming up voter enthusiasm.

"Group of migrants travelling on foot from Honduras file federal lawsuit against Pres Trump and others", she tweeted, with an explanatory excerpt from the filing.

Currently, an estimated 5,000-7,000 people from three Latin American countries -El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala - are marching towards the USA through Mexico.

Mexico on Wednesday put the size of the caravan that left Honduras in mid-October at 2,800 to 3,000 people.

Trump alleged that these immigrants were throwing rocks, viciously, and violently. "When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexico military and police, I say consider it a rifle". "We're going to consider - and I told them consider it a rifle".

A Pentagon spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Jamie Davis, declined to discuss specifics on the military's potential use of force, but said that USA troops "always have the inherent right of self-defense".

Mr Trump said that from now on, the United States will stop its policy of allowing people to claim political asylum at the border unless they have first gone through an official border post.

Trump also told ABC News that the migrant caravan group was much larger than the numbers reported, and predicted what looked like a group of impoverished women and children was actually "a lot of young people, lot of young men - they are pushing the women right up to the front - not good - and the kids right up to the front".

The lawsuit names President Trump, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security, and DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, among others, as the defendants. Such an action would face a likely legal challenge.

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