Seeking to shore up support for Republicans ahead of the congressional elections next week, US President Donald Trump says his administration has planned to require immigrants seeking asylum in his country to come into the US through a legal port of entry.
According to Press TV, Trump told reporters at the White House on Thursday “Migrants seeking asylum will have to present themselves lawfully at a port of entry.”
He called a caravan of Central America migrants travelling toward the United States as a dangerous threat to the country.
“Those who choose to break our laws and enter illegally will no longer be able to use meritless claims to gain automatic admission into our country,” he said.
Trump has ratcheted up anti-migrant rhetoric ahead of the crucial midterm congressional elections, calling the caravan of Central American migrants an “invasion.”
A new group of migrants has left El Salvador to join other United States-bound caravans of Central Americans mostly fleeing poverty and violence in their home countries.
Democrats and rights activists have said Trump is drawing on xenophobic and racist images in an effort to stoke anti-immigrant concerns among voters ahead of Election Day.
The Pentagon announced on Monday it was deploying 5,200 active-duty troops to beef up security the country’s border with Mexico.
The Trump administration has been under criticism over its “zero tolerance” immigration policy.
Nationwide protests have been held to denounce Trump’s crackdown against immigrants.
Critics accused Trump of stoking fear ahead of the elections, in which Republicans are battling to keep their congressional majorities.
The American Civil Liberties Union said in statement, “If he plans at some point to prohibit people from applying for asylum between the ports of entry, that plan is illegal.”