President Donald Trump on Monday said that the caravan of Central American migrants heading toward the U.S.-Mexico border is an “invasion,” promising that he will use the military to stop them.
“This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!” the President tweeted.
Trump offered no evidence while claiming there are “Many Gang Members and some very bad people” traveling in the caravan.
“Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border. Please go back, you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!”
According to Politico, Trump warned migrants will not be allowed into the U.S. “unless you go through the legal process,” even though they are permitted to enter the country in order to seek asylum at legal points of entry.
Trump’s latest comments come at reports emerged that the Pentagon is prepared to deploy as many as 5,000 active-duty troops to the U.S.-Mexican border to stop migrants from crossing. The troops are expected to play a support role and will not actively apprehend migrants who cross illegally, officials say.
The President sent roughly 2,100 National Guard troops to the border earlier this year in response to a separate caravan.
Trump has sought to capitalize on the latest caravan in an attempt to fire up his conservative supporters ahead of the midterm elections.
The caravan is made up of thousands of people, mostly from Central America, and is slowly making its way toward southern Mexico and eventually the U.S. It is unclear how many plans to try to cross the border.
The President has faced backlash over his heated rhetoric about the caravan from immigrants-rights groups and Democrats, who have accused him of stoking fears about the group.