President Donald Trump again threatened Friday to close the Southern border as soon as next week if Mexico did not do more to stop caravans of migrants from traveling to the United States.
“Mexico is tough. They can stop them. But they chose not to,” Trump said. “Now they got to stop them. If they don’t stop them, we’re closing the border. We’ll close it and we’ll keep it closed for a long time, I’m not playing games.”
The president pointed to two large caravans coming up to the Southern border through Mexico from Guatemala.
“They have to grab it and they have to stop it,” Trump referring to Mexico leaders.
He said that the United States immigration laws were “the weakest, the most pathetic laws” and demanded that Mexico to use their tougher laws to stop the caravans.
“There’s a very good likelihood that I’ll be closing the border next week and that will be just fine with me,” he said.
The president commented on the border crisis during a visit to a dike in Florida and an afternoon press conference at his club at Mar-a-Lago.
Trump acknowledged that although Mexico started to break up caravans, they had since stopped even trying.
“Mexico has to stop it. They have people coming right through Mexico. It’s a long, very dangerous journey, Mexico sends busses, they send trucks,” he said.
He also criticized countries like Honduras and Guatemala and El Salvador for “sending” their people towards the United States and said he stopped sending them money for aid.
“They set up these caravans, in many cases, they put their worst people in the caravans, they are not going to put their best in, they get rid of their problems and they march up here,” the president said.
Trump praised U.S. border officials for catching illegal immigrants at the border but acknowledged that border enforcement had “run out of space” to detain them all.
“We can’t hold people anymore and Mexico can stop it so easily, they don’t go through a court system every time somebody steps on our land, you step on our land, ‘Welcome to the United States’ it’s ridiculous,” Trump said.