As we close in on the midterm elections, President Trump is considering using executive action to close America’s southern border to all migrants, including asylum seekers, the New York Times reports. The potential move is a response to the so-called “caravan” of Central American migrants whose much-publicized journey through Mexico to ask for asylum has fueled racist right-wing political strategy in recent days.
From the Times:
The plan appeared meant as much to generate headlines to appeal to his anti-immigrant base and fuel outrage among Democrats and immigrant advocates — including legal challenges that administration officials are fully anticipating — as it was to have a practical effect on immigration. The caravan is more than 1,000 miles south of the border, and it is unclear when or whether the migrants will arrive, and how many will seek to cross into the United States.
Details of Mr. Trump’s plan, including a web of complicated legal issues that will most likely prompt a swift challenge in federal courts, were still being finalized on Thursday, according to the people who described it, all of whom insisted on anonymity to discuss an action that is still under development. The president, who is prone to changing his mind, could still decide not to take action, they stressed.
Most of those who have traveled from Central America to seek asylum are women and children fleeing violence in their home countries. Trump has already sent 1,000 Army troops to “secure” the border as a measure against the migrants.
Earlier this week, Trump claimed, baselessly, that there were “unknown Middle Easterners” who were “mixed in” with the migrants. Fox News repeated some of these absurd claims, including a theory that the caravan is somehow linked to ISIS.
“That is an assault on our country and in that caravan you have some very bad people and we can’t let that happen to our country,” he said at his rally in Houston on Monday. “I think the Democrats had something to do with it.”