Trump to send military to guard Mexico border

Wednesday, 04 Apr, 2018

Donald Trump has announced that he'll be placing military forces at the US-Mexico border until the wall he promised in his 2016 campaign can be built, CNN reports.

"It's a big step, we certainly haven't done that before. We have a meeting on it in a little while with General Mattis and everybody, and I think that it's something we have to do", Trump told reporters at a joint news conference with leaders of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

President Donald Trump urged the U.S. Senate to change its rules Monday in order to pass funding for his proposed wall along the US-Mexico border.

Trump has been seething over immigration since realizing the major spending bill he signed last month barely funds the "big, beautiful" border wall he has promised his supporters.

"They did it because I said, frankly, I said you really had to do it", Trump said.

Trump also declared protections for so-called Dreamer immigrants "dead", claimed the USA has "no effective border laws" and warned Mexico to halt the passage of "caravans" of illegal immigrants or risk retribution.

Though Congress remains in recess this week, some lawmakers were quick to question the president's military plan.

Republican representative Francis Rooney, a member of the foreign affairs committee in the US House of Representatives, said there was a risk of increased violence.

"I would rather have the dealings with immigration be handled in a civil context rather than a military one", Rooney said.

Many migrant advocate groups argue that given the scale of the armed law enforcement presence, the extensive surveillance infrastructure, fencing, and numerous checkpoints, the border is, in effect, already militarised.

Trump announced previous year that he was ending DACA, the program that protects young "Dreamer" immigrants and allows them to work legally in the country, but the Department of Homeland Security is continuing to issue renewals because of a court order. There are now some 2,000 US forces in Syria fighting against the Islamic State, which has seen its presence diminish in the area.

At the same time, the Trump administration is crafting legislation to make it harder for refugees to gain asylum in the USA and to extend the periods of time that authorities can hold families and unaccompanied children at the border, a senior White House official said Monday. We were very successful against ISIS. "And it's going to be changed, we need the wall, we need protection and we're going to change our immigration laws at the border and elsewhere". "And we're thinking about that very seriously".

The White House counsel's office has been working on the idea for several weeks.

Brett McGurk, the special USA envoy for the global coalition against Islamic State, said: "We are in Syria to fight ISIS".

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto insisted that despite disagreements over illegal immigration, the NAFTA trade talks should go on.

Active duty US troops were not used for the operation because there are prohibitions on using so-called Title 10 troops for law enforcement and similar duties within the United States.

"I have been threatened with death and I had to leave my daughters back there", she said.