Mi­grants defy Trump at Mex­ico bor­der as US forces flex mus­cles

Global Times - Weekend - - WORLD -

Hun­dreds of Cen­tral Amer­i­can mi­grants staged a bois­ter­ous demon­stra­tion on the USMex­ico bor­der Fri­day, scream­ing for US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump to let them in as US sol­diers and riot po­lice put on a men­ac­ing show of force.

The in­creased ten­sion over the pres­ence of a thou­sandsstrong mi­grant car­a­van came as Trump marked Thanks­giv­ing Day by threat­en­ing to close the bor­der if he thinks Mex­ico has lost con­trol of it.

Ve­hi­cle and pedes­trian traf­fic at the busy San Ysidro cross­ing came to a halt for 40 min­utes as dozens of US po­lice wear­ing hel­mets and hold­ing ri­fles formed a line fac­ing the Mex­i­can side of the fron­tier. Sep­a­rately, riot po­lice re­hearsed de­ploy­ment move­ments. US Cus­toms and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion called all of this a “large-scale readi­ness ex­er­cise.”

US sol­diers in khaki-col­ored uni­forms set off rock­ets that ex­ploded with a pun­gent-smelling white smoke. He­li­copters hov­ered over­head.

Trump has al­ready de­ployed nearly 6,000 troops along the bor­der and on Fri­day he threat­ened to go even fur­ther.

“If we find that it gets to a level where we are go­ing to lose con­trol or where peo­ple are go­ing to start get­ting hurt, we will close en­try into the coun­try for a pe­riod of time un­til we can get it un­der con­trol,” Trump told re­porters, be­fore fir­ing a warn­ing to Mex­ico. “The whole bor­der. I mean the whole bor­der,” he said, adding that “Mex­ico will not be able to sell their cars into the United States.”

At an­other nearby bor­der cross­ing called El Cha­parral, Cen­tral Amer­i­can mi­grants from the car­a­van emp­ty­ing into Ti­juana de­fied the pres­i­dent with a loud rally.

“Let’s go to the bor­der! There we can pres­sure Trump. We are only wast­ing time and strength at the shel­ter,” Hon­duran Car­los Ro­driguez yelled into a bull­horn.

“To­day is a spe­cial day. It is Thanks­giv­ing... They are not go­ing to lynch us,” he said, to loud applause and screams.

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