Trump to send military to guard Mexico border

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They began their trek March 25 from the southern Mexican state of Chiapas with the aim of reaching the US border and applying for asylum.

At the same time, the Trump administration is crafting legislation to make it harder for refugees to gain asylum in the US and to extend the periods of time that authorities can hold families and unaccompanied children at the border, a senior White House official said Monday. "That's a big step", he said at the White House, expressing dismay at a caravan of migrants making their way from Honduras to the US border. He's previously suggested using the Pentagon's budget to pay for building the wall, arguing it is a national security priority, despite strict rules that prohibit spending that's not authorized by Congress.

But according to a memo obtained by Fox News and discussions with officials, one area where the Pentagon could contribute immediately is the Air Force's Barry Goldwater live-fire range, which shares a 35-mile border with Mexico in southern Arizona.

Last Friday, his Border Patrol chief revealed that the administration's goal is to have barrier along 1,000 miles, or just over half the border. "Now President Donald Trump has said that he wants to hit us with nuclear bombs". From 2006 to 2008, at most 6,000 National Guard members aided border patrol efforts.

"If it reaches our border our laws are so weak and so's like we have no border", Trump said on Tuesday. "It was more to achieve a sensible and clear solution" to migrants' need to leave their countries, said Irineo Mujica, head of Pueblo Sin Fronteras, or People Without Borders, the group behind the annual event. He said he would be meeting with Mattis and other security officials to discuss the issue soon.

The President's comments appear to take aim at current USA policy which requires border agents to catch then release family units who arrive at the border from noncontiguous countries. The $1.3 trillion spending package recently passed by lawmakers only includes $1.6 billion for border wall funding, and the bulk of that money must be used to fix existing parts of the wall, not for new construction.

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United States military personnel have been deployed to the border before. The $1.3 trillion funding package included $1.6 billion in border wall spending, but much of that money can be used only to fix existing segments, not to build new sections. Trump has also been under pressure from conservative backers, including commentator Ann Coulter, who has accused Trump of betraying his base and "taking his voters for a ride".

But Trump did not elaborate on the plan when asked at a press conference two hours later.

Mexico granted 3,223 asylum requests made in 2016, and 9,626 requests filed previous year are either under review or have been accepted.

Illegal border crossing arrests were down 25% in 2017, compared to a year earlier.

The caravan, which once included about 1,150 migrants, also has been sidelined for several days at a sports stadium in the southern state of Oaxaca. "Otherwise I'm not going to do the NAFTA deal".