Washington, DC (NBC News) — President Donald Trump is threatening to shut down the border with Mexico if that country fails to stop migrant caravans making their way toward the United States.
“They have to grab it and they have to stop it. We have right now two big caravans coming up from Guatemala. Massive caravans walking right through Mexico,” President Trump said, adding “If they don’t stop them we’re closing the border. We’ll close it. And we’ll keep it closed, I’m not playing games. Mexico has to stop it.”
The president’s comments come after Department of Homeland Security officials said the number of migrants they’re intercepting at the border grew to 75,000 last month and may swell to 100,000 in March.
DHS officials told reporters Friday they could close portions of the border temporarily, as little as a few hours at a time, to deal with influxes, but the president warns he could do it more broadly.
In a letter to Congress Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen called it a “dire situation” and asked for authority to hold asylum seeking families until their cases are decided instead of the current 20 day limit, and for authority to speed up deportations for unaccompanied migrant children.
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