Politics

Trump Clarifies Position On Retaliation For Rock Throwing Migrants

Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent

President Donald Trump clarified his position on retaliating against caravan migrants approaching the U.S. border who may throw rocks at authorities, before taking off for a campaign rally Friday afternoon.

Trump caused some alarm Thursday when he appeared to suggest that he would authorize U.S. troops to shoot migrants who may throw rocks at the border while attempting to force through a port of entry. “Anybody throwing stones, rocks, like they did to Mexico and the Mexican military, Mexican police, where they badly hurt police and soldiers of Mexico, we will consider that a firearm,” Trump said Thursday.

PEDRO PARDO/AFP/Getty Images

The president instead clarified “they won’t have to fire. What I don’t want, I don’t want these people throwing rocks,” adding  “what they did to the Mexican military is a disgrace. They hit them with rocks. Some were seriously injured. They were throwing rocks in their face. They do that with us, they’re going to be arrested. I didn’t say shoot. I didn’t say shoot. But they do that for us, they’ll be arrested for a long time.”

Trump referenced how some migrants have been violent while attempting to cross the Mexican-Guatemalan border. These migrants threw rocks at members of Mexican law enforcement, injuring some of their authorities in an attempt to continue through towards the U.S. to claim asylum. The president has been incensed by the advancing caravan which has swelled to nearly 6,000 people, largely citizens of Central America.

Central American migrants, part of a caravan trying to reach the U.S., sing and pray at a public square in Tapachula

REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Trump also pledged to sign a comprehensive new executive order that would force asylum seekers to go toward legal ports of entry and to end the policy of catch and release, in a major Thursday afternoon immigration address.

Trump noted that the U.S. military would be erecting major tent cities along the U.S.-Mexico border and pledged that anybody detained seeking asylum would await their adjudication procedures while in custody.