Trump vows to deploy military to Mexican border

Donald Trump's tweets come amid tense negotiations over NAFTA between his administration and that of Mexican President

Speaking to reporters during a working lunch at the White House on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said he plans to enforce southern border protection with US military during wall construction.

During a White House meeting with Baltic leaders, Trump said he has been discussing the idea with Defence Secretary Jim Mattis. (Others plan to stay in Mexico.) Deploying the military to the border would not be an effective way to deter asylum-seekers, since they could still follow through with their plan to go to official USA border crossings to apply for protections from persecution.

Trump has been seething over immigration since realizing the major spending bill he signed last month barely funds the "big, beautiful" border wall he has promised his supporters.

Trump also reiterated his complaints about a practice - sometimes referred to as catch-and-release - which allows immigrants found in the US without proper documentation to be released while they wait for a hearing before an immigration judge.

"We have to change our policies, fast", he said.

Trump is also appearing to question the integrity of the Justice Department in his Tweet by putting quotation marks around the word "Justice" in referring to the department.

The president added, "Mexico has got to help us at the border".

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The caravan, which once included about 1,150 migrants, also has been sidelined for several days at a sports stadium in the southern state of Oaxaca.

"It's sad for the people in the caravan and it's sad for the people in the United States".

In his first of three immigration-related tweets, Trump wrote, "Border Patrol Agents are not allowed to properly do their job at the Border because of ridiculous liberal (Democrat) laws like Catch & Release".

The president has been lashing out at Mexico for allowing a group of Central American demonstrators, mostly from Honduras, to march toward the USA border, where many hope to seek asylum. Operation Jump Start, as it was known, lasted about two years. This is not new as "caravans of immigrants" have become an annual event meant to showcase the Central American refugee crisis.

But the caravan of largely Central American migrants had never meant to reach the US border, according to organizer Irineo Mujica.

In a statement issued March 23, Pueblo sin Fronteras said "Refugee Caravan 2018" is demanding that the USA and Mexico "respect our rights as refugees and our right to dignified work to be able to support our families". He also claimed DACA, which has provided temporary protection from deportation and work permits to hundreds of thousands of young people, is luring people to cross the border illegally, even though the program - and most proposals to replace it - have never been open to new arrivals.

In 2010, the Obama administration sent National Guardsmen to the US-Mexico border in response to concerns about drug-related violence, but Defense Department rules largely prevent the military from making arrests or seizing drugs along the border.

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