Trump Reportedly Considering Executive Action That Targets Migrants Seeking Asylum

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Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was expected to sign orders either Thursday or Friday for the new deployment, one official said.

Three sources told CNN that the troops would not engage in lethal operations to stop the migrants, but are expected to help erect fencing and other barriers to stop the migrants.

The migrants, who number in the thousands and include many women and children, are fleeing poverty and violence in Honduras and Guatemala, and are trekking through Mexico in hopes of reaching the US border.

Trump and Vice President Pence have argued that criminals and "Middle Easterners" among the migrants seek asylum. There already are about 2,000 National Guard troops assisting at the border under a previous Pentagon arrangement.

Thursday's move comes as thousands of Central American migrants are crossing Mexico toward the United States in a slow-moving caravan.

Federal law prohibits the use of active-duty service members for law enforcement inside the US unless specifically authorized by Congress.

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Mr Michael Bars, a spokesman for the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, said in an e-mail that the "extremely low bar" for establishing credible fear allows economic migrants to abuse the system by posing as asylum-seekers, then disappear before their court dates to live illegally in the US.

It is not yet clear if all or part of the new deployment will be federally-activated national guard forces - those now there were sent by individual states, in response to the April announcement - or active duty troops. Most are Hondurans, seeking to escape poverty and violence, and include families with children.

In a tweet sent on Thursday, President Trump addressed the migrant caravan directly, advising them to follow the laws of the United States and apply to come in legally.

Altogether the order would prevent hundreds in the caravan from entering the USA and asking for asylum, the newspaper said.

"If someone migrates to the United States, it's to work, and working is not a crime", he said.

This deployment is separate from an ongoing National Guard effort along the border to support border authorities with technical assistance. "The president should not be using the military to further a partisan agenda". It's not yet clear if the Department of Homeland Security will reimburse the Pentagon. You're going to see a very secure border.

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