Donald Trump marks Thanksgiving Day with threat to close Mexico border

- Advertisement -

President Donald Trump made a Thanksgiving Day threat 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.

Mr Trump also said he has given the thousands of active-duty troops he sent to the border before the November 6 midterm elections the “OK” to use lethal force against migrants “if they have to”.

And he said US homeland security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, whom he has faulted for not being tough enough on immigration, is “in there trying”.

“It’s a tough job,” he said.

Migrant Caravan Immigration Asylum Seekers
The moon rises behind a United States Border Patrol vehicle as it sits near one of the border walls separating Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego (Gregory Bull/PA)

“Could there be a shutdown? There certainly could, and it will be about border security, of which the wall is a part,” Mr Trump said.

Mr Trump made the comments in a wide-ranging question-and-answer session with reporters at his Florida golf club after he conveyed holiday wishes in a telephone call with select members of the American military serving around the globe.

In his remarks afterwards to reporters, Mr Trump moved quickly from issue to issue, from the border and his public dispute with chief justice John Roberts to relations with China, a possible staff and Cabinet shake-up and his defence of acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker.

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters in Florida (Susan Walsh/AP)

Under that new policy, Mr Trump declared no one could apply for asylum except at an official border entry point.

Some ports of entry are already facing huge backups, with people waiting for weeks.

The US government shut down one port of entry, San Ysidro, in California, for several hours early on Monday morning to bolster security amid concerns about a potential influx of migrant caravan members.

Central America Migrant Caravan
A pigeon flies near where the border structure that separates Mexico from the US reaches the ocean (Ramon Espinosa/AP)

Mr Trump repeated Nielsen’s claim, made earlier this week when she visited a San Diego Pacific Coast beach to see newly installed razor wire wrapped around a towering border wall that cuts across the sand, that there were as many as 500 criminals and gang members in the group heading northwards.

Ms Nielsen refused to answer questions about how they were identified or what crimes they had committed.

Mr Trump asserted that there are “fistfights all over the streets” in Tijuana, Mexico, and that “these are not like normal, innocent people”.

“These are people you talk to them and they start a fistfight,” he said.

“I don’t want that in this country.”

Central America Migrant Caravan
Central American migrants gather at a temporary shelter, near barriers that separate Mexico and the United States, in Tijuana, Mexico (Rodrigo Abd/AP)

He said if US officials “find that it’s incontrollable, if we find that it gets to a level where we are going to lose control or where people are going to start getting hurt, we will close entry into the country for a period of time until we can get it under control. The whole border.”

In that case, Mexico would take an economic hit, he said, citing an inability to ship cars into the US for sale.

“We’re either going to have a border or we’re not,” Mr Trump said

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.