President Donald Trump warned caravan migrants traveling to the Southern border of the United States on Thursday that he would not put up with violent attacks, even if it was just people throwing rocks.
Trump instructed the military to treat an attack from rocks the same as an attack from a rifle.
“Anybody throwing stones, rocks, … we will consider that a firearm because there’s not much difference when you get hit in the face with a rock,” he said, referring to the group attacking border guards in Mexico.
“We’re not going to put up with that, they throw rocks at our military, our military fights back,” he continued. “We’re going to consider, and I told them, consider it a rifle.”
Trump said that he hoped that there would not be violence, and urged the caravans of migrants to turn back.
The president delivered a lengthy address in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on illegal immigration and the “crisis” of caravans of migrants marching from Central America to claim asylum in the United States.
“At this very moment large well-organized caravans of migrants are marching towards our Southern border,” Trump said. “It’s like an invasion. They have violently overrun the Mexican border.”
He vowed to stop the flood of migrants who were “rushing our border” on a daily basis, taking every lawful action to protect the American people.
“These illegal caravans will not be allowed into the United States, they should turn back now, they are wasting their time,” Trump said.
He said that he would no longer allow migrants to enter the country simply by claiming asylum and setting them free into the United States while waiting for a court hearing.
“We’re not releasing them into our country any longer,” Trump said, promising to hold migrants in tents on the borders.
He thanked the Army Corp of engineers for their efforts to built tents at the border.
“We’re going to hold them right there,” he said.
Trump explained that despite the United States being a “welcoming country” with a large immigration system, more and more foreigners were taking advantage of the immigration “loopholes” to enter the country.
“No nation can allow itself to be overwhelmed by uncontrolled masses of people rushing their border,” he said.
Trump argued that groups of migrants were not legitimately claiming asylum, because they refused it from Mexico.
“These migrants are not legitimate asylum seekers,” he said. “They are not looking for protection because if they were, they would be able to get it from Mexico.”