Trump says he will use military to protect U.S. border with Mexico

President Trump boasted about economic gains under his presidency on Thursday during a rally at a facility of the Operating Engineers Apprentice and Training in Richfield Ohio

U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he wants to use the military to guard the country's border with Mexico until his long-promised border wall is built.

"We will be doing things with Mexico, and they have to do it, otherwise I'm not going to do with the NAFTA deal", Trump said.

"The United States is not going to militarize the southern border. That's a big step", he said. He said he would be meeting soon with U.S. Defence Secretary Mattis and others to discuss the idea.

The move follows several statements Trump has made in recent days regarding immigration, including calling off a solution to give undocumented immigrants who arrived as children a pathway to citizenship.

The "caravan" of mostly Central American migrants making its way through Mexico reportedly stopped Monday at a local park, as the marchers decide where and when to proceed.

Later Tuesday, Trump shared a clip of himself speaking at the U.S.

"If it reaches our border, our laws are so weak and so pathetic-you (the Baltic leaders) would not understand this 'cause I know your laws are strong at the border-it's like we have no border", he explained.

"The Mexican border is very unprotected by our laws".

An analysis by KXAN local news in 2016 found that most border arrests by state troopers were for drunk-driving and minor drug violations, not the smuggling of people or drugs. Vast stretches of the U.S. -Mexico border are sparsely populated and geographically harsh.

He doubled down in an afternoon press conference with the leaders of Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia, telling reporters that "we are preparing for the military to secure our border, we have a meeting on it in a little while with general Mattis and everybody". "And I think that it's something we have to do".

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.

Both former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama employed troops to the border.

US presidents have ordered National Guard forces to the border in the past.

According to Politico, a senior Department of Homeland Security official said that deploying troops along the southern border has been in talks, but has no rollout in place.

Many migrant advocate groups argue that given the scale of the armed law enforcement presence, the extensive surveillance infrastructure, fencing, and numerous checkpoints, the border is, in effect, already militarised.

Some members of Congress said they were uncomfortable with the idea of using the military at the border.

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