President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico reacts sharply to Trump’s Threats
WASHINGTON(TIP): President Donald Trump, April 5, signed an executive order directing the deployment of military along the US-Mexico border to fight illegal immigration, asserting that the situation had reached “a point of crisis.”
The announcement came a day after Trump said he intended to deploy the National Guard to the US-Mexico border until his administration was able to deliver on his campaign promise to build a wall to bolster security.
Given the importance to secure borders for national security, the National Guard, in coordination with governors, will remain in a support role until Congress takes the action necessary to close the loopholes, the White House said.
Trump on Thursday told reporters aboard Air Force One that a large portion of the troops he is planning to deploy to the U.S.-Mexico border would stay there until the border wall was built. Around 2,000 to 4,000 National Guard troops will be deployed to the area, Trump said, similar to actions by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
“The situation at the border has now reached a point of crisis. The lawlessness that continues at our southern border is fundamentally incompatible with the safety, security, and sovereignty of the American people. My administration has no choice but to act,” Trump said in his memorandum to the Defense Secretary, Attorney general and the Secretary of Homeland Secretary.
The threat is real, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told reporters at a White House news conference. “We continue to see unacceptable levels of illegal drugs, dangerous gang activity, trans-national criminal organizations and illegal immigration flow across our border,” she said.
This threatens not only the safety of American communities and children, but also the very rule of law, on which, the country was founded. “It’s time to act. So, let’s talk a little bit about that today,” she said.
“In an effort to prevent such a consequence, the President has directed that the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security to work together with our governors to deploy the National Guard to our southwest border to assist the Border Patrol,” she said.
Border Patrol recorded 37, 393 arrests on the southwest border in March, according to data released by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
In the last 15 months, she said the Trump administration has taken major steps to methodically strengthen border security.
“We began the first new border wall system construction in close to a decade, we modified our asylum system processing to more quickly adjudicate claims and we ended so-called temporary immigration program,” Nielson said.
Ruing that the system rewards bad behavior, she said it does not punish law breakers. “It undermines our nation’s economic interests. Make no mistake, interdiction without the ability to promptly remove those without legitimate cause is not border security, it is not national security,” she asserted.
“We will not allow illegal immigration levels to become the norm. More than 1,000 people a day, 300,000 a year, violating our sovereignty as a nation will never be acceptable to this president,” she said.
Meanwhile, President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico blasted President Donald Trump in a video message on Thursday, April5, vowing that “nothing and no one stands above the dignity of Mexico” and adding that the U.S. president’s main gripes were Congress’s problem, not Mexico’s.
“If your recent statements are the result of frustration due to domestic policy issues, to your laws or to your Congress, it is to them that you should turn to, not to Mexicans,” Peña Nieto said in the message, according to a translation provided by his office.
(With inputs from PTI)