PALM BEACH, Fla, Nov 22, (Agencies): President Donald Trump is threatening to close the US border with Mexico for an undisclosed period of time if his administration determines that its southern ally has lost “control” on its side.
Trump is citing the situation involving migrants camped in Tijuana, Mexico, after traveling in a caravan to reach the United States. Trump calls it “a really bad situation” there and says that “if we find that it’s incontrollable,” then “we will close entry into the country for period of time until we can get it under control. The whole border.” The president also says he’s given American troops at the border the “OK” to use lethal force against migrants “if they have to.” Trump tells reporters: “I hope they don’t have to,” but he says, “I have no choice” because “you’re dealing with rough people.”
Trump also warned on Thursday there could be a government shutdown next month over security on the border with Mexico, suggesting he could hold up negotiations if no more money is provided for a wall between the two countries. “Could there be a shut down? There certainly could and it will be about border security, of which the wall is a part,” Trump told reporters in Palm Beach, Florida.
Ahead of US congressional elections earlier this month, Trump denounced the approach of a caravan of migrants as an “invasion” that threatened American national security, and he sent thousands of US troops to the border to help secure it. US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Wednesday that he had been granted authority to allow troops on the Mexican border greater powers to help protect border officials, and would await direction from the Department of Homeland Security.