WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has ordered the deployment of hundreds of officers to secure the southern US border and will immediately expedite the returning migrants seeking asylum to Mexico, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced Monday.
“The crisis at our border is worsening, and DHS will do everything in its power to end it,” Nielsen said in a statement. “We will not stand idly by while Congress fails to act yet again, so all options are on the table.”
The deployment of 750 officers to process a surge of migrant families entering the United States was announced last week and Nielsen says they plan to reassign more than 2,000 more.
“We will immediately redeploy hundreds of CBP personnel to the border to respond to this emergency, the statement reads. “We will urgently pursue additional reinforcements from within DHS and the interagency. And we will require those seeking to enter the United States to wait in Mexico until an immigration court has reviewed their claims.”
Liberal organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have sued the Trump administration in the past, claiming such strict immigration policies are “racist” and violate US law.
The news comes just one week after President Trump threatened to shut down parts, if not all, of the border if his demands for stricter border control efforts were not met.
“If Mexico doesn’t immediately stop ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States through our Southern Border, I will be CLOSING the Border, or large sections of the Border, next week,” the president tweeted.
“I am not kidding around,” the president told reporters. “It could mean all trade. We will close it for a long time.”
The “surge” in new officers is expected to focus primarily in border areas in California and Texas, where a large portion of illegal immigration occurs.
Trump campaigned heavily on securing the nation’s border as part of his “Make America Great Again” 2016 presidential campaign. The issue is expected to remain a focus in his 2020 re-election agenda.