President Donald Trump on Friday backtracked from his suggestion a day earlier that American troops sent to the US border with Mexico would be free to fire on migrants who throw rocks at them, saying that rock-throwers would only be arrested.
Up to 90 percent of those at the border who claim fear of returning to their home country pass the initial "credible fear" screening. They likely include a rule ending the Flores judicial commandment which forces border agencies to release migrants who bring children before the courts can process their asylum claims.
During a Thursday speech on his bid to crack down on illegal immigration, Trump was asked how thousands of troops he has ordered to the border would react if stones were thrown at them.
PAY ATTENTION: Get the Latest Nigerian News Anywhere 24/7. But the act of sending 15,000 USA troops to face a tired caravan of less than 5000 migrants, a number that is dwindling all the time as the foot-weary dropout, invited ridicule, as did the President's claim that he was intent on protecting American women from what he perceives as marauding hordes.
The comments seemed to de-escalate remarks he made Thursday at a White House press conference where he said any rock thrown by a migrant would be considered the same as if they were wielding a rifle against law enforcement or the military.
He went on to clarify how he phrased it to the military: "I told them: 'consider it a rifle.'" Let's hope that the military of a country founded by immigrants shows some restraint.
In a statement posted on its social media pages, the army claimed the sect in massive numbers forced their way into the troops checkpoint after overrunning the police force. Backlogs have grown especially bad in recent months at crossings in California, Arizona and Texas, with people generally waiting five weeks to claim asylum at San Diego's main crossing and sleeping out in the open for days at a time.
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"And sometimes it turns out to be where something happens that's different, or there's a change, but I always like to be truthful", he added. He has vowed not to allow the caravans of migrants from El Salvador and Honduras, now making their way north through Mexico, from entering the US.
A federal official who was not authorized to be quoted by name said 153 migrants in the second caravan were detained earlier in the week during highway inspections in Chiapas, a short distance from the Guatemalan border.
In stressing that his administration will not allow a "catch and release" policy, Trump also claimed this week that 25 million to 30 million immigrants now live in the country illegally because previous administrations had "released" immigrants in the USA after they had been caught crossing the border as they awaited immigration hearings.
Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, migrants claiming asylum are allowed to do so at the border crossings, but also if they cross illegally.
The homeland security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, defended the militarization of the United States border on Friday, the morning after Donald Trump delivered an inflammatory, often factually incorrect, speech on immigration.
At a campaign rally in Miami on Friday, former President Barack Obama accused Mr Trump of cynical politics and a political stunt over his plans to send troops to the Mexican border. "By the time we're talking about molotov cocktails and use of firearms, it's my duty to make sure our officers and agents are secure", she said.
Earlier this year, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that victims of gang and domestic violence no longer qualify for asylum.