Trump ramps up attacks on undocumented migrants ahead of midterms

Washington -By Shabtai Gold, - Just days ahead of the midterm elections, US President Donald Trump is seeking to change regulations so that people cannot illegally enter the country then apply for asylum and live freely while their case in processed.

"Migrants seeking asylum will have to present themselves lawfully at a port of entry," Trump said on Thursday at the White House.

He said an executive order would be issued soon.

"Those who choose to break our laws and enter illegally, will no longer be able to use meritless claims to gain automatic admission into our country. We will hold them for a long time if necessary," Trump added.
The president said families detained would be held together, and focused on ending what he called "catch and release" of undocumented migrants.
Critics accuse Trump of stoking racial tensions with his campaign against illegal immigration, which has been coupled with a crackdown on the number of refugees admitted and a push to restrict legal immigration.
With midterm elections for the Senate and the House of Representativs coming up next week, he has recently ramped up his anti-immigrant rhetoric, calling migrant caravans making their way to the US from Central America an "invasion."
He drew fresh condemnation Thursday by tweeting an anti-immigrant video implying that there were murderers among them.
The video starts with footage of convicted murderer Luis Bracamontes boasting about killing police officers, and claims: "Democrats let him into our country." It then intersperses footage of him with images of migrants trying to push through barriers.
"It is outrageous what the Democrats are doing to our Country. Vote Republican now!" Trump tweeted above the video. US media quickly pointed out that Bracamontes last entered the country in 2001, when Republican George W Bush was president.
Trump has denied he is fearmongering and says he wants merit-based immigration, but anti-immigrant rhetoric has been a theme of his presidency.
During his election campaign ahead of the 2016 vote, Trump used language attacking Muslims and Mexicans, among others.
On Thursday he said undocumented migrants were "taking precious resources away from the poorest Americans who need them most." He also blamed lax border security for the influx of illegal narcotics like heroin and opioids.
"This is a defence of our country. We have no choice," Trump said.
He suggested troops could open fire on migrants if they throw rocks or sticks, saying: "We will consider that a firearm because there's not much difference."
Later Thursday at a campaign rally in Missouri, Trump referred to young men who fought with Mexican police as one caravan pushed its way forward.
"These are tough people. These are not little angels," Trump said.
Trump told supporters in the mid-western state that people have "really galvanized" over the caravan, stressing that he supports legal immigration based on merit.
On Thursday, law firm Nexus Services filed a class action on behalf of asylum seekers alleging that the Trump administration is unconstitutionally detaining them and trying to deny them entry.
"Trump's professed and enacted policy towards thousands of caravanners seeking asylum in the United States is shockingly unconstitutional," reads the complaint filed in a Washington DC federal court.
"The president is violating federal law ... and has set up a potential catastrophe at the US/Mexico border all in the name of white nationalism and with the objective of scoring political points," said Nexus Services' president Mike Donovan in a statement.
The United States has already deployed hundreds of soldiers to the US-Mexico border, and Trump indicated Wednesday he could increase the number to some 15,000 troops, claiming, without proof, that gang members are seeking to invade the country.
The number Trump cited was far higher than the 5,200 US troops that the Pentagon said Monday it was sending to "harden" the south-western US border.
Trump on Thursday said the troops were needed because migrants "are rushing our border," calling the caravans an "invasion."
"When we are strong at the border people will turn away and they won't bother," Trump said, adding that soon "you will see that the number of people trying to get in will be greatly reduced."

Friday, November 2nd 2018
By Shabtai Gold,

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