Update: Shortly after Trump’s proposed ultimatum, the mayor of Tijuana officially declared the migrant surge an international humanitarian crisis and called on groups like the United Nations for help. The mayor blamed the poor response of the Mexican federal government as the reason for his decision.
“They [Mexican government] have categorically omitted and not complied with their legal obligations,” he said. “So we’re now asking them and international humanitarian aid groups to bring in and carry out humanitarian assistance.”
Also on the border, U.S. soldiers and riot police were seen conducting a “large-scale readiness exercise” that reportedly included the firing of “rockets that exploded with a pungent-smelling white smoke.”
Furthermore, a small group of migrants was seen breaking away from the caravan, nearing 500 feet away from the border, carrying white flags that read “Peace and God are With Us.”
President Trump said that America will completely close the “whole” southern border with Mexico if the migrant caravan crisis becomes uncontrollable.
When asked to clarify his position during Thursday’s extended conversation with the press, Trump said that the closure will be absolute – including the sale of cars into the U.S.
“If we find that it’s uncontrollable.. [If] it gets to a level where we are going to lose control or where people are going to start getting hurt, we will close entry into the country for a period of time until we can get it under control,” said Trump. “The whole border.”
“I mean the whole border. And Mexico will not be able to sell their cars into the United States where they make so many at great benefit to them — not a great benefit to us, by the way.”
The recent violent clashes between migrants and Mexican nationals seen in Tijuana – as well as the known criminal composition of the migrant caravan – fueled Trump’s decision.
“We know who they are, they have records, some very substantial criminal records, some very bad criminal records,” said Trump. “These are not like normal or innocent people – when you talk to them they have a fistfight.”
“I don’t want that in this country.”
Additionally, Trump authorized the military to use lethal force on the border while acknowledging it was a scenario he did not want to see happen.
“I have no choice,” he said. “Do I want that to happen? Absolutely not, but you’re dealing with rough people.”