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Trump threatens to permanently close southern border after weekend migrant rush

President Donald J. Trump walks across the South Lawn of the White House Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018, to board Marine One for his flight to Joint Base Andrews, Md. to begin his trip to Columbia, Mo. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)
November 26, 2018

President Donald Trump has made a second threat to close down the southern U.S. border with Mexico, this time after the intense clashes at the border over the weekend.

Trump tweeted Monday morning, “Mexico should move the flag waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries. Do it by plane, do it by bus, do it anyway you want, but they are NOT coming into the U.S.A. We will close the Border permanently if need be. Congress, fund the WALL!”

His first threat to close the border came on Thursday when the President spoke with reporters while on holiday at Mar-a-Lago.

“If we find that it’s uncontrollable … that it gets to a level where we are going to lose control or where people are going to start getting hurt, we will close entry into the country for a period of time until we can get it under control,” he said. “The whole border. I mean the whole border.”

“Mexico will not be able to sell their cars into the United States, where they make so many cars at great benefit to them,” he added.

When asked about the possibility of U.S. troops using lethal force, Trump replied, “If they have to, they’re going to use lethal force. I’ve given the okay if they have to. I hope they don’t have to.”

“You’re dealing with a minimum of 500 serious criminals, so I’m not going to let the military be taken advantage of. I have no choice. Do I want that to happen? Absolutely not. But you’re dealing with rough people,” he said.

He said the people of Tijuana, Mexico, have changed their approach to the migrant caravan, first welcoming them with “wide arms” to now wanting the caravan out of their town.

“They want them out,” he said. “Bad things are happening in Tijuana.”

Tijuana’s Mayor, Juan Manuel Gastelum, declared that the city was going through a humanitarian crisis under the burden of the migrant caravan. More than 5,000 migrants have now set up camp in Tijuana.

On Sunday, hundreds of members from the Central American migrant caravan conducted demonstrations at the border in Tijuana. However, tensions escalated when hundreds of members rushed the border, The Hill reported.

Mexico’s federal police officers were unsuccessful in their attempts to stop the rush of migrants.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) was forced to shut down the border at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, barring any vehicles or pedestrians from getting through. Agents then deployed tear gas in an attempt to disperse the crowd.

Despite the efforts, some 30 migrants were able to enter the U.S.