President Donald Trump may use emergency powers to stop a caravan of migrants from crossing the U.S. border. Thousands of people from Central America are still more than a thousand miles away, in southern Mexico. The president wants to deny them any opportunity to seek asylum, reports CBS News' Weijia Jiang.
Trump has publicly voiced his frustration over the caravan, and now the administration is considering a wide range of administrative, legal and legislative options. He tweeted a message to the migrants Thursday: "Go back to your country and if you want, apply for citizenship like millions of others are doing!"
Secretary of Defense James Mattis is also expected to sign an order to send hundreds of active duty troops to the border. The troops will join the roughly 2,000 National Guardsmen the president dispatched to the border in April.
To those in the Caravan, turnaround, we are not letting people into the United States illegally. Go back to your Country and if you want, apply for citizenship like millions of others are doing!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 25, 2018
The new troops can build barriers and help look for people trying to cross the border illegally, but they do not have the authority to apprehend illegal immigrants. They also won't be authorized to use force except in self-defense.
President Trump has turned immigration into one of his top campaign issues heading into the midterms and critics say these actions to stop the caravan are only for political gain, just 11 days before Election Day.
Trump has also claimed "unknown Middle Easterners" and criminals are in the crowd. Pressed on what proof he had "Middle Easterners" were in the crowd, the president admitted earlier this week that there "is no proof."
"There's no proof of anything," the president told reporters Tuesday in the Oval Office. "There's no proof of anything. But there could very well be."