Trump Threatens Shutting Down The Border Over Migrant Caravan

Migrant caravan
Spencer Platt / Getty Images

President Donald Trump is bound and determined to keep the migrant caravan from crossing into the United States, even if that means testing the extent of his presidential powers. He has already been rebuffed by the courts over the matter. But he is undaunted. His latest move is a threat to shut down the border altogether if that is what it takes. Politico has Trump giving an ultimatum.

“President Donald Trump on Monday demanded that Mexico deport the caravans of asylum-seeking migrants pressing up against the U.S. border ‘anyway you want,’ threatening to close off the U.S. border ‘permanently if need be.'”

It is not clear what President Trump has in mind when he demands that Mexico deport the asylum-seekers any way they want. Bear in mind that these people are escaping an unspeakable form of existence due to factors beyond their control such as politics and poverty. They have seen what governments do when they do things any way they want.

Some of them have faced the harsh reality of reaching the border. Instead of one final run for freedom, they were met with troops deploying tear gas. They are not only facing an unprecedented amount of literal pushback from the U.S., but they are also soon to face it from their own country if Trump has his way.

People hanging on to the side of a truck
  Spencer Platt / Getty Images

President Trump reportedly is not interested in considering their claims for asylum. He appears to use the more militant language of criminals and invaders. The article makes this point by citing one of Trump’s recent tweets.

“‘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.,’ Trump tweeted, offering no evidence to support his claim that the migrants are criminals.”

One reason President Trump might be insisting on referring to the migrants as criminals is that he wants to get more money from Congress for his wall for which he so successfully campaigned. As seekers of asylum, we would have to view them as helpless victims who need our aid and support.

If they are considered criminals and invaders, it is easier to understand why we need a wall to keep them out. That is the case Trump is making to Congress. What is at stake is a government shutdown. Right now, a bipartisan bill is offering $1.6 billion for the wall. But that is over $3 billion too little. Trump has declared he will accept nothing less than $5 billion.