After a couple of days of non-specific threats regarding a planned migrant caravan heading from Honduras and El Salvador to the US, President Trump is now threatening to send the military to the US-Mexico border, and to close the border entirely.
Trump declared the caravan an “assault on our country,” claiming it is “far more important to me, as President, than trade.” Pentagon officials say they have yet to be assigned any tasks related to a border crackdown.
Mexican officials downplayed the threat, saying that they believe President Trump is “making a political calculation,” and that this is being done primarily for the sake of the US domestic audience, not as a statement of foreign policy.
President Trump has made opposing immigration at the southern border a high priority since the 2016 campaign. At the time, he was vilifying the immigrants as violent rapists, but in the lead-up to the mid-term election, he is focusing on accusing them of being in league with the Democrats.