Trump escalates threats against migrant caravan

Central American migrants try to force their way through a customs gate at the border bridge connecting Guatemala and Mexico in Tecun Uman

He has drawn attention to a caravan of migrants that is trekking through Mexico toward the United States as he seeks to fire up support for his Republican party.

Immigrant advocacy groups and the American Civil Liberties Union blasted the move to send military forces and said migrants are exercising their rights under worldwide and federal laws to seek asylum in the United States.

Trump in recent weeks has repeatedly said more troops are needed to tighten security at the border and he has made political capital of the caravan in the weeks before important mid-term congressional elections that could see the Democrats regain a degree of power.

President Trump has been warning against these migrants for weeks.

Only about 200 in that smaller group made it to the border.Most of the migrants in the caravan appeared determined to reach the US, despite an offer of refuge in Mexico.Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto launched a program Friday dubbed "You are home", which promises shelter, medical attention, schooling and jobs to Central Americans who agree to stay in the southern Mexico states of Chiapas or Oaxaca, far from the USA border.Mexico's interior minister said Sunday that temporary identity numbers had been issued to more than 300 migrants, which would allow them to stay and work in Mexico.

The number of people in the first migrant caravan headed toward the US has dwindled to about 4,000 from about 7,000 last week, though a second one was gaining steam and marked by violence. O'Shaughnessy, asked why the National Guard was not selected for the new mission, said the military is bringing "additional capability" with the active-duty troops.

O'Shaughnessy said the Pentagon also will deploy military police units and cargo aircraft, including three C-130s and one C-17.

Trump says birthright citizenship will be ended
Trump ruffled several feathers when he announced that he wanted to issue an executive order to get rid of birthright citizenship . He has also promised to end so-called catch-and-release policies by erecting tent cities to hold those crossing illegally.

"Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border", Trump said. "If you want to wait, they don't usually get asylum".

He is expected to hold 11 rallies in the days ahead of the November 6 midterms, which Washington pundits are characterising as a referendum on his presidency.

Perhaps Trump doesn't understand that it is legal for anyone on US soil, even if they arrived without documentation or authorization, to claim asylum and start a legal process that can end with them being allowed to stay. Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday she was unaware of any upcoming planned speeches on immigration but she'd keep the public posted. Trump will do what "he deems necessary" on immigration, Sanders said. The group has diminished from a peak of almost 7,000 migrants, as some footsore travelers and parents with children have dropped out or fallen behind. More than 1,500 of the original group have applied for asylum in Mexico.

But any migrants who complete the long trek to the southern USA border already face major hurdles - both physical and bureaucratic - to being allowed into the United States.

Trump says that the USA was "going to be prepared" and that the migrants are "not coming into our country".

In an attempt to limit the caravan's size, Mexican police clashed Sunday with a smaller, separate group of Central Americans attempting to enter from Guatemala and catch up to the main group.

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