The Slatest

Trump Warns Migrant Caravan to “Go Through the Legal Process” and That “Our Military Is Waiting for You”

A huge crowd of Honduran migrants in southern Mexico.
Honduran migrants taking part in a caravan heading to the U.S. wait at the road as they leave Arriaga on their way to San Pedro Tapanatepec in southern Mexico on Saturday. Guillermo Arias/Getty Images

President Donald Trump sent another warning to the migrant caravan about 1,000 miles away from the United States, telling them again to try to immigrate legally and threatening that if they continue toward the border, “our Military is waiting for you!”

Perhaps Trump doesn’t understand that it is legal for anyone on U.S. soil, even if they arrived without documentation or authorization, to claim asylum and start a legal process that can end with them being allowed to stay.

Meanwhile, the Mexican government has been doing its best to get as many of the Central American migrants to stay in Mexico and apply for asylum there. According to the Associated Press, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has a plan “offering shelter, medical attention, schooling and jobs to Central Americans in Chiapas and Oaxaca states if migrants apply.” More than 1,500 of the original group have applied for asylum in Mexico.

The 4,000 migrants who have turned down Mexico’s offers for assistance are still walking toward the border and have reached the city of Arriaga. A previous migrant caravan this year ended with about 200 people at the border between Tijuana and San Diego in early May, where they turned themselves over to authorities on the U.S. side and applied for asylum.

USA Today reported that the Department of Defense will deploy 5,000 military personnel to the border, where they are “not expected to conduct law enforcement activities, but instead provide backup support to Border Patrol agents manning the border and be prepared to react if groups of migrants try to storm the border.”

The White House has reportedly been considering a more extensive shutdown of the border, including an executive order that would ban asylum applications by those who reach the U.S.