Trump details plan for tougher USA entry for migrants

Frederick Owens
November 3, 2018

The president made the claims five days before the USA midterm elections, when voters will determine which party will hold power in Congress and statehouses across the country.

"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".

Trump has rejected the idea he has been "fearmongering" and using the issue for political purposes, but on Thursday he blamed Democrats for the "incompetent, very, very stupid laws that we have". The lawsuit (pdf) states, "Trump's professed and enacted policy towards thousands of caravanners seeking asylum in the United States is shockingly unconstitutional".

"None of them is a US citizen or a permanant resident", he added, "and none of them is physically in the USA or has ever been physically in the U.S".

Last week, after 20 immigrants from Cuba, Honduras, Mexico and Russian Federation arrived at the border bridge in El Paso, U.S. officers stationed in the middle of the bridge - the "limit line" - told them to wait.

With the new plan, the president says he wants people to apply legally, but will detain them while they wait for asylum hearings. "They're throwing rocks viciously and violently", Trump said, declaring, "This isn't an innocent group of people, large number of people who are tough".

Trump also tweeted a video Wednesday alleging Democrats were responsible for allowing a homicidal immigrant into the US but provided no evidence supporting that claim.

He said forcing immigrants to join a long waiting list is tantamount to turning them away. "You put them and all law enforcement in a very hard emotional, let alone security posture".

It also remained unclear how many migrants would make it; 20 days of scorching heat, constant walking, chills, rain and illness had taken their toll.

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"I didn't say shoot", he said.

Several immigration experts have pointed out the Obama administration did not implement a policy of separating families. In the past week, he's also ordered thousands of troops to the U.S. -Mexico border to stop the migrant caravans and proposed ending by executive order the Constitution's guarantee of citizenship to anyone born in the U.S. A second, smaller group of 1,000 or so migrants is more than 200 miles behind the first caravan.

In his hometown of Ocotepeque, Honduras, he left behind a coffin, either for his mother, who suffers dementia, "or for me, if I don't make it", Guzman said.

Those caught at the border will be held in tent camps or other facilities until they can be deported or have their requests approved, he said.

"As far as the caravan is concerned, our military is out", Trump said.

The U.S. president has spent the final days of the campaign hammering the issue as he tries to energize Republican voters, and his favorite target has been the migrant caravan of nearly 4,000 people that is still more than 800 miles away from the nearest U.S. border. But many migrants are unaware of that guidance, and official border crossings have grown increasingly clogged. He deemed the group of migrants from Central America a threat to Americans. "Opioids are a bigger threat".

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White House aides had considered having Trump deliver an immigration speech earlier in the week, but the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre on Saturday delayed those plans. He underscored that asylum is to be granted based on safety considerations, not poverty.

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