With thousands of asylum-seeking migrants making their way toward the U.S.-Mexico border, the Trump administration is looking at options to restrict or block outright their ability to enter the country.
Officials said it is part of an overall plan to crack down on border crossings – including migrants who are part of the caravan that left Honduras on Oct. 12 and are more than 1,000 miles from the U.S. border.
“The Administration is considering a wide range of administrative, legal and legislative options to address the Democrat-created crisis of mass illegal immigration,” a White House official said. “No decisions have been made at this time. Nor will we forecast to smugglers or caravans what precise strategies will or will not be deployed.”
Part of that overall plan involves manpower: The Pentagon is preparing to deploy at least 800 troops to the border.
Though the current migrant caravan is more than 1,000 miles from the border and traveling by foot, Trump has increasingly seized on the caravan as an issue in the midterm elections, hoping the images of migrants walking through Mexico will energize voters.
Federal officials have in the past found that many of the migrants are entitled to an asylum review. Of 401 members of another caravan requesting asylum this year, 374 passed the first test, demonstrating that they have a “credible fear” of returning to their home country.
Department of Homeland Security Department Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Thursday night that the Trump administration is considering all options to deal with the migrant caravan.
“Everything is on the table,” Nielsen told Fox News in an interview from Yuma, Arizona.